Because of their bravery and steadfast commitment to protecting our country and its freedoms, veterans, and every person in the army, are some of the most important people in our society. And each day we spend living in peace and security is, in part, thanks to their sacrifices.
As an eCommerce retailer, recognizing and supporting veterans is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also good for business. In fact, big brands like Wendy’s, Adidas, and Nike have been showing their support to the military community in recent years with discounts and different perks. Because while your venture is all about selling items and earning revenue, adding a social element to what you do can make customers feel more connected to your brand. After all, it’s people that drive the market, not faceless corporations.
And in this article, we’ll help you do just that by sharing with you some great merch and marketing ideas that would allow you to express your support for the men and women of the armed forces this Veterans Day.
A Quick Refresher: What is Veterans Day?
Before we get to the merch ideas and marketing tips, let’s have a quick refresher on what Veterans Day is all about.
In the United States, Veterans Day falls on November 11th every year and is a national holiday celebrated to honor all the men and women who have served—or are currently serving—in the US Armed Forces.
Its roots can be traced back to the end of World War I, which formally ended on November 11, 1918. A year later, President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11th as Armistice Day to commemorate the occasion.
The holiday went through a few more changes until 1954 when it was renamed Veterans Day as we know it today. The idea behind the name change was to expand the focus of Armistice Day from just commemorating the end of the first world war to honoring all American veterans—living or dead—who have served the country in any capacity.
Why Should You Care?
For different brands, big or small, taking a stand on social and political issues has become the norm. People have become more socially conscious and are increasingly looking to brands not just for the products and services they provide but also for the causes they support or stand for. In fact, many consumers nowadays would pay more for products from brands that mirror their own values (Ombori Grid).
This is why participating in holidays and movements that your target market cares about is a great way to connect with them on a deeper level and show that you share the same values.
And with Veterans Day just around the corner, now is the perfect time to start thinking about ways you can support the men and women of the armed forces and show your appreciation for their service.
Some Product and Design Ideas for Veterans Day
Now, without further ado, here are some product and design ideas for your eCommerce store this Veterans Day:
Veterans Day Home Posters or Banners
During this day, families with members in the military usually put up a flag or banner outside their homes as a way to show their support and appreciation. To cater to your consumers who may want to do the same, you can create a special Veterans Day-themed poster or banner for them to use.
This could be a simple design with the words “Happy Veterans Day” or “Thank You Veterans” along with the American flag. Or you can offer to create personalized ones with elements such as the veteran’s name, rank, and service years.
Whether it’s for proud veterans who have served or for citizens who want to show their support, military-themed shirts are also a great option. Aside from military elements like camouflage prints, dog tags, and eagles, you can create your own designs and combine them with short texts.
For example, you can make a shirt with a silhouette of a saluting soldier and the words “A Hero Lives Forever” or “All Gave Some, Some Gave All.”
Inspirational Veterans Day Clothing
Aside from military-themed shirts, you can launch a line of apparel with inspirational messages for everyone to wear on this day. These could be simple caps and tees with popular Veterans Day quotes or thank-you messages.
Some examples of these are “The Bravest Are Not Those Who Always Win, But Those Who Never Give Up” or “Home of the Free Because of the Brave.” You can also create designs with the American flag as the centerpiece along with these messages.
Customizable Mugs and Glasses
A great gift for living veterans or for the families of those who have served is a mug or glass with a custom text. You can offer to engrave names, ranks, and even short personal messages on these items. For example, you can make a mug with the text “World’s Greatest Veteran Dad” or “Proud Daughter of a Veteran.”
Small Sentimental Tokens
Small items like keychains, pins, and patches with short messages or quotes are also excellent gifts for this holiday. These are especially useful for those who want to show their support in a more subtle way. For example, you can create keychains that say “Freedom Isn’t Free” or “In Memory of Our Fallen Heroes.”
You can also design car stickers and decals with such messages or with the American flag. This way, people can show their support even when they’re on the go.
Other Things You Can Do on Veterans Day
Apart from launching your own products and designs, there are other ways you can show your support for the men and women of the armed forces this Veterans Day.
Some of these are the following:
Share Stories of Patriotism and Heroism on Your Platforms
Whichever generation of shoppers you cater to, chances are your customers know or have a family member who’s served in the military. Sharing stories of patriotism and heroism on your channels is one way to make them feel appreciated.
You can post these on your social media pages or include them in your newsletter. You can also create a special section on your website where you feature these stories. Doing so would not only show your support for the holiday but also help build a connection with your consumers.
Support or Partner With a Local Charity or Fundraiser
There are many charities and fundraisers that support veterans and their families all throughout the year. You can choose to partner with one of these organizations or support their cause in any way you can.
For example, you can organize a donation drive in your store or create a special product where part of the proceeds go to these charities. You can also include a call-to-action on your website or social media pages, urging people to donate to these causes.
Offer Exclusive Discounts to Veterans and Military Families
Just like the brands mentioned earlier, you can also offer exclusive discounts to veterans and military families. This is a great way to show your appreciation for their service and sacrifices.
You can promote these discounts along with your Veterans Day social media posts to reach a wider audience. You can also include a mention of these discounts in your email marketing campaigns or on your website’s homepage.
Educate Your Customers and Followers About Veterans Day
While it’s a widely celebrated holiday, you can always share a little Veterans Day history with your followers and customers. This is a great way to show that you’re not only celebrating the holiday but also promoting awareness about it.
You can share interesting facts, stories, and trivia about Veterans Day on your social media channels or blog. You can also include a hashtag that shows how your brand is supporting the holiday.
Create Interactive Thank-you Posts
Finally, you can encourage your followers to also express their gratitude to veterans and military families. You can do this by creating interactive posts on social media.
For example, you can ask people to share your thank-you content or tag the veterans they know. You can also create a campaign where people can share photos of themselves with the veterans in their lives. Doing so would not only show your brand’s support but also help promote engagement on your platforms.
Here’s to Honoring Our Heroes and Giving Thanks This Veterans Day!
Whether you have thousands of followers on your pages or just a few hundred, supporting holidays like Veterans Day and showing appreciation for the country’s heroes is a great way to use your platform and influence. Not only does it show that your brand cares about more than just selling products, but it also helps build a connection with your consumers.
Just keep in mind to always be creative, authentic, and respectful when creating your content and campaigns. Doing so would make your brand stand out and help ensure that your efforts are well-received.
Ready to get started on your Veterans Day collection? Check out our product catalog and find the perfect items for your designs!
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