American Giant is a fast-growing start-up in the highly competitive apparel market. Their high-quality, American-made clothing was a stark contrast to “fast fashion”—imported clothing that valued brand recognition over quality—but the company’s commitment to style and durability found an audience and put them on the map.
American Giant had a lean marketing team who knew that growth depended on acquiring and retaining loyal customers in ways that reflected the company’s values without requiring a lot of hands-on maintenance. But how?
Finding and Engaging a Segment that Aligns with Your Brand
American Giant identified military customers as a significant segment for their brand. The company’s made-in-America ethos and rugged clothing and straightforward style resonated with the military community.
The military also presented a tremendous opportunity. Active duty military, veterans, and spouses equal over 37 million consumers with more than $1 trillion in spending power annually. American Giant knew engaging this audience offered great potential for acquiring a large and loyal group of customers.
Thinking Beyond Mass Discounts
In a market as crowded as apparel, American Giant understood that generic, universal discounts would get lost in the noise. Instead, they decided to honor the military with gated, exclusive offers—discounts available only to verified members of the U.S. armed forces, their families, and veterans.
Exclusive offers hold strong appeal for the military—95% of military members say they are more likely to shop with a company that offers a military discount. And because exclusive offers tap into powerful human emotions of belonging and feeling special, they help build loyalty.
American Giant’s marketing team knew providing an exclusive offer was a sound strategy, but they weren’t sure how to:
- Verify military customer status when it wasn’t their area of expertise.
- Eliminate the risk of handling personally identifiable information (PII) that customers would need to share in order to get the discounts.
- Minimize the programmatic and support demand.
Creating an On-Brand Verification Process
American Giant turned to SheerID’s Digital Verification Platform to launch and secure their military discount program. With SheerID, they were able to provide their gated, exclusive offer on their website and deliver an instant, in-brand verification process that—like their clothing—reflected their commitment to high quality and back-to-basics simplicity.
To be verified for the offer, customers provide a minimal amount of data, then SheerID uses authoritative data sources to immediately verify that customer’s eligibility.
Minimizing Risk While Saving Time
SheerID’s Digital Verification Platform eliminated American Giant’s concerns about the risk of handling customer PII because they didn’t have to manage or retain it. And the platform’s ease of use removed the burden of verification and program management from the marketing team’s shoulders. Audrey Prieto, the company’s ecommerce product manager, said using SheerID saves them 5-10 hours per week.
“SheerID’s platform makes our military program run like a well-oiled machine,” Audrey said. “We’ve had zero support calls from our military customers, and SheerID provides us with exceptional support.”
Customer Acquisition Made Easy
Using SheerID to implement their military exclusive offer also boosted American Giant’s sales. The company’s military email promotions are their best-performing, with over 6,000 unique orders placed in 2018 alone.
As the marketing team expected, their gated, exclusive offers have helped them rise above the noise in the apparel market and avoid the pitfalls of universal discounts.
“Our high-quality, made-in-America products appeal to the military community,” said Paulina Izvorski, American Giant’s retention marketing associate. “And the discount we offer generates greater conversions and deepens the brand relationship because it demonstrates how much we value them in a way that a universal discount just can’t.”
Acquiring More Customers with Less Effort
For American Giant, gated, exclusive offers provide a quality, on-brand shopping experience that honors an important customer group while requiring minimal investment of time and resources.
Want to learn more about how you can rise above the noise and exceed your customer acquisition goals?