When you go to the mall, what is more likely to catch your eye – a store offering deep discount brandsdiscounts on their items or a higher end store with no discounts? In the retail industry there is an ongoing debate as to whether or not a company should provide discounts. Offering discounts comes with benefits including attracting a higher volume of customers and increasing sales. On the down side, discounts can also come with the connotation that your store is cheap and the products are not as high of quality. It really is up to the company and how they want to be branded and ultimately perceived by consumers.

Popular retailers such as Apple, Nordstrom and Tiffany & Co. rarely offer discounts or sales. Yeah, it is a bummer when you don’t necessarily want to shell out a lot of money for an item but not offering discounts does have its own benefits as well. What comes to mind when you think of stores like Apple, Nordstrom and Tiffany & Co.? Personally, quality is the first thing that comes to my mind.

Whenever I go in to one of those stores I know that the customer service will be amazing. Within seconds of walking in to their stores a sales associate will be there to greet me and ask what they can help with. I also know that the products I am buying from these stores are quality and if I were to have any issues with them they would be happy to help me fix it. These stores use price as an indicator of the value of their products and service. Having set prices on your items also keeps consumers from show rooming. If you can only purchase Tiffany’s jewelry from their store, which doesn’t offer sales, consumers cannot find the product anywhere else at a lower price – they go in expecting to pay full price.

But what if there was a way to offer a discount without affecting a company’s brand and image?

Many companies overlook the capabilities of exclusive offers. Offering exclusive discounts allows for companies to reach out to select market segments. For example, your company can provide exclusive discounts in order to connect with your community by thanking those who have served our country, supporting students and recognizing teachers. Targeting a select market with exclusive discounts has a direct correlation with higher ROI within your company.

The military market is made up of over 32 million members including Active Duty, Veterans, and their families with $1 trillion in buying power. Annually, just discharged military personnel spend over $700 million on apparel alone. Offering exclusive discounts to this market will not only attract people that may have otherwise not shopped at your store but it will also create loyal customers. With all the benefits that exclusive discounts has to offer both you and your customers why is there still a hesitation to offer exclusive discounts?

Fraud is a legitimate concern surrounding exclusive discounts. Many companies have issues with customers and employees taking advantage of exclusive discounts that they may not qualify for. Luckily, SheerID has a solution to avoid fraudulent activity surrounding exclusive discounts. For example, if your company wants to offer a military discount, you choose which members of the military community have access to receive your military discount and our automatic verification process will verify that only people who qualify receive the discount.

Another major concern is that discounts will make people think of your company as a “discount brand” and reduce the quality of your products. Instead of changing your image to a discount brand in the consumers’ minds, offering exclusive discounts actually creates an even more positive image surrounding your company. Wouldn’t you be more likely to shop at a store that was in support of a service you provided? I would be and clearly others feel the same way – 94% of present and past military personnel state that they notice when companies are “military-friendly” and have a positive impression of those companies. There are hundreds of online military communities that love to blog about companies who are military friendly so offering exclusive discounts opens up many opportunities to receive free press and word of mouth marketing.

Want to have your cake and eat it too? Offering an exclusive discount is the opportunity for high-end, never-discount brands to maintain their quality and image while increasing their customer engagement and loyalty. What are you waiting for?