Too often, the question of whether businesses should offer military discounts elicits an assortment of answers, most of which are personal to each respondent. But this question concerns much more than mere knee jerk responses and personal opinions. There are facts to consider as well, facts that confirm without doubt the soundness of offering military discounts.
The military market is comprised of 8.2 million consumers. This includes active duty personnel, reservists, retired, and employees. Veterans and their spouses add an additional 30 million potential customers. Their combined consumer habits amount to $1 trillion in annual sales. No special marketing strategies or advertising campaigns are necessary to capitalize upon the military market. A business only has to utilize a platform like social media to publicize their pro-military attitude within the community.
Military personnel are a loyal contingent, which follows, since loyalty is an essential military value. The military market also reflects this loyal attitude in their spending habits. Past and present military personnel (94%) have said they notice right away which businesses are military friendly, and they tend to support these companies indefinitely. Further, active duty and retired personnel alert one another to military friendly business, spreading the positive word about companies who demonstrate they value the contributions of servicemen and women.
A few additional, interesting numbers include: Military families tend to have higher incomes, take longer vacations, and move frequently and/or travel. Discharged military personnel purchase approximately $700 million worth of new apparel each year, generally upon retiring their uniforms. The philosophical questions of whether military personnel are more deserving of special treatment is irrelevant. Military personnel spend tons of money every year and tend to favor those businesses who favor them in turn with discounts. It’s that simple.
It must be said: A business might do just fine without offering such a discount. However, the same business misses out on serving military personnel who patronize establishments where military discounts are honored. The potential profits for the business that clinches this demographic are staggering. And what business worth its weight in sales reports wouldn’t like to enjoy staggering profits?