By Mylena Vazquez

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It’s an indisputable fact that brothers-in-arms often become as bonded as real-life brothers. When you enter the military, the individual is superseded by the collective. The mentality shifts from “me” to “we,” and everything is done for the good of the unit—your family. In fact, many psychology studies over the years have come to this same conclusion. When a soldier transitions into civilian life, they still carry this strong military identity with them—they are veterans. Even when military careers end, military culture and lifestyle continues.                                                 

This is evident with Nine Line, a veteran-owned company that sells not just apparel, but a lifestyle. This is not something they freely admit. On their homepage, they say that “it’s much more than getting dressed everyday, it’s about being proud of who you are, what you wear, and how you walk through life.” On their About Us page, they state: “As a lifestyle brand, Nine Line…aim[s] to be our brother’s keeper and start a conversation between those who served and those who support them.”

Their products reflect this philosophy. They have apparel products for everyone in the family, in addition to things like home goods, car accessories, and even their own coffee. They focus on attributes that are relevant to their target audience, including “American-made,” “patriotic,” and “veteran-owned,” among others. They also partner with similarly patriotic and often veteran-owned companies, like Hoist, Black Rifle Coffee Company, and REDCON1, all of which are patronized by many of Nine Line’s same customers. They even share a storefront with Black Rifle Coffee Company in downtown Savannah, Georgia. Their collaborations with like-minded brands reflects the same kind of camaraderie fostered in the military.

Nine Line also focuses on giving back and to financially supporting causes in which they believe. Around the time when Army Captain Tyler A. Merritt and his wife Angela started the brand in 2012, one of Tyler’s former classmates at West Point lost three limbs in the line of duty. Tyler, Angela, and Tyler’s brother Captain Daniel Merritt formed the Nine Line Foundation, which donates a portion of purchases to help veterans who have suffered severe, life-altering injuries. They also take up other causes that are important to their customer base, like fundraising to help shelter homeless veterans.

If there’s one brand that relies on psychographic segmentation, it’s Nine Line Apparel. This is what makes the brand so relevant to its target audience: the fact that it focuses its marketing on shared interests, beliefs, motivations, and behaviors—and, in this case, profound shared experiences as well. Nine Line has built a brand on the unbreakable bonds forged in the military—and they have created an incredibly strong, united, and loyal community of customers in the process.


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