Military spending trends

Washington Military Resource Media is constantly doing research: Trying to touch base with our consumers and clients becomes easier when you understand how they think and what they’re looking for.

Spending habits and trends of military families might be one of the most important focuses in our line of work – we want to bring families resources that they’ll use and that will make their lives easier, therefore, knowing what they want and how they want it is important.

Strangely enough, over the last ten years spending habits of military families haven’t changed much. So, it’s safe to assume these trends will hold strong for a while longer. Here’s what we found:

Military Discounts are huge.

When looking for stores and companies to frequent, military families will look for companies with military discounts. Not a shock, right? Well the reason behind their decision to do so is actually two-fold: First, of course, a military discount means the price of the good is cheaper than the normal price and who doesn’t love a good deal?

Secondly, military families generally believe that companies with military discounts are looking to take care of them and must proudly support the military. From a soldier’s point of view, this is a company worth getting to know and forming a bond with because they care about our service members and will likely treat them well.

Travel and vacation destinations are big.

About 60 percent of military members vacation two times per year. Spending most of their time away from home and loved ones, About 55 percent of military members will vacation with their families twice each year. Vacations are a huge priority for soldiers and their dependents and it should, once again, come as no shock that military families are 90 percent more likely to vacation somewhere with a military discount.

Always buy, never lease or rent.

Even though military families move around a lot, purchasing trends show they prefer buying big-ticket items outright rather than leasing or renting.

Studies show an overwhelming 95 percent of military families prefer to buy cars instead of taking out a lease. As in other categories, these families still keep an eye out for value, as 81 percent of military families prefer to buy a car from manufacturers offering a military discount.

Buying younger is normal. 

Military members, on average, marry younger and have children at a younger age than the average American. With that, it makes sense that they make big-ticket purchases at a younger age than most civilians.

Even though the average income for military members is lower($78,000), their income is stable, meaning they have an advantage when buying a home over civilian peers.

A strange side note: using real estate agents, travel agents and brokers is nearly a universal practice for active-duty service members. When looking to make big purchases, they look to experts for help nearly 100 percent of the time.

Understanding and digesting information like this is key in a military community like ours here in Tacoma – and it can be in yours too. Through observations and research, it’s much easier to reach this key demographic and build relationships with the community; trust me, building a relationship with the military community is one of the best things you can do for your company.

For more on reaching the military market, look at some more stats and tips that weren’t included in this article here.

Now that you understand the market, find out what you can do to utilize it on our website.


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