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The Power of Military Discounts and How to Harness It

A military discount is a great way to acquire more customers.

Offering customer discounts is a tried-and-true strategy to show appreciation to your customers, drive sales, and improve brand loyalty. We know that customer discounts are an effective marketing strategy. But offering targeted customer discounts to the military community multiplies those benefits while showing appreciation to the military community. 

Has your brand considered implementing an evergreen military discount or running a seasonal military advertising campaign?

Our team at Refuel Agency specializes in marketing to the military. Here’s a snapshot of why we think offering a military discount is a win for your brand, how you can easily track your discounts, and how you can reach the military audience to promote your new discount.

Why Market to the Military

The military is a very special community, made up of approximately 37 million active service members, reserve, guard, veterans, retirees, and their families worldwide and wielding $1.2 trillion in spending power. And we know that military discounts shape the shopping habits of members of the military community. According to Refuel’s Military Explorer Series™, the military community is 22% more likely to support brands that offer military discounts, and 26% more likely to support brands that are equally supportive of the military community.

The military community is looking for personalized offers, and your brand can rise above the noise by offering the best military discounts. According to one study, 74% of the military community actively seek out brands that offer military discounts, and more than 3 in 5 military members would shop at those brands more often. 

So you’re sold—military discounts appeal to the military community and serve as an effective tool to build brand loyalty and drive sales. Now what?

Types of Military Discounts

The military community appreciates discounts on a wide variety of items, including:

  • Travel
  • Automotive/Motorcycles
  • Food
  • Clothing/Shoes
  • Furniture/Appliances
  • Entertainment
  • Electronics
  • Personal Care
  • Dining
  • Sports/Recreation
  • Dining
  • Tools/Hardware
  • Baby/Maternity

Whatever you are offering a discount on, there are a few different types of discounts to consider. Here are some offers that can help your brand acquire military customers:

  • Seasonal: These discounts run for a limited time period, usually celebrating some event or holiday that is relevant to the community you are targeting. For the military, this could mean running special discounts during Military Appreciation Month in May, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, or Independence Day. Discounts in honor of these special occasions demonstrate that your brand cares about giving back to the military. Alternatively, you can run an evergreen military discount program that consumers can take advantage of year-round.
  • Loyalty Program: Loyalty programs are a great way to encourage customers from all communities stay engaged. You can boost retention by giving loyalty members perks such as exclusive discounts, early access, or free gifts with purchases.
  • Free Shipping: Because military members may be stationed in remote areas, online shopping is important to this community, and shipping can be expensive. You can encourage purchases by nixing the cost of shipping for military members during special occasions or when they purchase a certain amount.
  • Referrals: Word-of-mouth is already very strong among the military community, with 96% of the military saying they would share an offer with their colleagues. You can encourage referrals even more by offering a discount when someone refers a friend to your brand.
  • Gated: If you want to reach a specific community like the military, gating your offer is the way to go. Otherwise, anyone can claim they are military and the offer feels less special for actual military members. To do this, ask customers redeeming your exclusive military offer to provide some basic information and use military discount verification to confirm their identity. 

How to Implement a Military Discount for Your Brand

It used to be challenging to offer a military discount due to the complexities of identifying members of the military community. Often military personnel used to call a service representative to verify their military affiliation, which created friction in the sales process. 

But when brands use SheerID’s Verification Platform to provide the military community with exclusive offers, customers can redeem them as a seamless step in your online purchase process. SheerID uses more than 200,000 authoritative data sources to instantly verify members of the military community, including veterans, spouses, and dependents. The platform offers one of the most robust military service verification solutions in the industry.

Learn more

About the Author

As a strategic content marketer, Haley creates the content for marketing campaigns across all marketing channels and at every stage of the customer journey. Haley has an eye for detail and an obsession with optimization and improvement. She brings four years of experience in content marketing across industries. In her free time, she can be found hiking with her trusty sidekick, Huck Finn.