With Veterans Day right around the corner, many brands are beginning to strategize their Veterans Day marketing campaigns to the military and veteran community. Veterans Day is a great opportunity to reach and connect with the 18 million veterans, as well as the greater military and spouse community, in the US wielding $1T+ in total veteran spending power—and one strategy often used to reach members of the military audience is to offer military discounts. But you may be wondering: are military discounts an effective way to influence the veteran audience?

After working with the veteran community for over 30 years, it’s safe to say that we understand this special audience and how to execute a Veterans Day marketing strategy that truly resonates. And today, we’re going to explore the value of offering discounts to veterans—and how to implement them yourself. 

What is Veterans Day?

Veterans Day is a federal holiday in the United States observed annually on November 11, for honoring military veterans of the United States Armed Forces.

Today, Veterans Day is a day to offer goodwill and gratitude to those who are currently serving our country, as well as those who have served in the past. Veterans Day celebrates and honors those who selflessly served our great country as members of the U.S. Armed Forces. 

Read next: How to Create Veterans Day Ads That Stand Out

The True Value of Offering Discounts to Veterans

Offering customer discounts is a tried-and-true strategy to earning loyal customers. But in the military community, that’s even more true. According to our most recent Military Explorer Series™, the 25% of post 9/11 veterans and 22% of veterans overall are loyal to brands that offer military-specific discounts—and 22% more likely to show support to brands whose advertising is authentic to the military. 

There are two kinds of veteran discounts you can offer. The first is an evergreen veteran discount that applies to members of the military community throughout the calendar year. The second is a seasonal veteran discount, like a Military Appreciation Month discount that applies during the month of May, for example. 

It used to be challenging to offer a military-specific discount due to the complexities of identifying members of the military community. Often military personnel used had to call a service representative to verify their military affiliation, which created friction in the sales process. Now that process is exceedingly simple. Solutions like SheerID provide an in-brand, frictionless experience that ensures military personnel receive their military discounts easily.

Many brands offer specific products for free for Veterans Day promotions. For example, Dunkin Donuts offers a free Veterans Day donut to service members on November 11th, and Planet Fitness offers a free workout. Other brands choose to offer an overall discount. For example, Bed Bath & Beyond is offering 25% off of their entire store.

Read next: Military Discounts Drive Brand Loyalty. Here’s How to Implement Yours

Marketing to veterans means more than offering military discounts

While offering military discounts to veterans is certainly an effective way of showing support, solidarity, and winning over the veteran audience in the US—marketing to veterans goes beyond discounts. The veteran population is a community of people, and loyalty is a two-way street. 

To truly establish a relationship with the military audience, advertising year round and showing consistent support is key.

Read next: Military Marketing: How On-Base Advertising Can Reach Your Military Audience

  • Support Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs)

The military community has made incredible sacrifices for our country. They appreciate and are loyal to brands that support them and their community—and understand the unique challenges they face. Research from our Military Explorer Series™ shows that 19% of post 9/11 veterans and 22% of veterans overall are loyal to brands that support veteran service organizations (VSOs). The military community takes notice when your brand is invested in them in the long-term. 

There are so many volunteer organizations that support our veterans in a wide variety of ways. These groups offer a range of support types from addressing specific needs through general assistance for wounded and disabled vets or just assisting in their transition stateside. 

From funding support animals to helping disabled veterans, researching a veteran-focused charity organization is only a few clicks away. For a few ideas on organizations that support veterans, Military.com gives a list of organizations which would be a good place to start.

  • Feature the veterans in your community

To appeal to veterans, highlight the veterans that are already a part of your company and your community. Showcase how your product or service is being used by veterans. Actions speak much louder than words, and it goes a long way to demonstrate how you’re already invested in supporting veterans through your brand identity. 

Are you ready to reach your target audience? At Refuel Agency, we’ve been working with the military audience for over 30 years, and our combination of proprietary research, omnichannel solutions, and decades of experience make us uniquely qualified to deliver veteran marketing results for your brand or agency. Contact us today to get started.

Liz Carmo

Liz Carmo brings over 14 years of experience with Refuel Agency. While an expert in all Refuel’s core markets, she quickly formed a passion for the military division. Liz has been a pioneer in the military space with building our partner relationships that allow us to keep competitive pricing and top industry knowledge. Her passion towards the military market, creativity, and deep consumer insights help Refuel’s key brands grow their business.