Duty, Honor, Country…and the Grunt Style Beer Guarantee.
If you’re in the Army or were ever in the Army, you know about General MacArthur’s speech at West Point, where he spoke those now famous words. If you’re in the Grunt Style community, you know all about the Beer Guarantee. And if you’re Daniel Alarik, you live by both codes.
He first swore an oath to serve his country, and he kept that oath. His deployments spanned two years. He switched to Infantry for a bit, before rounding out his regular Army service with three years as a Drill Sergeant. Then he began easing out of military life, winding down with the Illinois Ready Reserve.
As much as he values his military service, Dan declined the recruiter’s recent invitation to extend it. Instead, he’s drilling the core values of service into his new mission – bringing patriotism into every home in this country.
Armed with the insight gleaned from the decades of experience passed to him through his military leaders, Dan quickly shook off the sting of rejection and incompatibility with the civilian workplaces he encountered. Rather than waste time lamenting running into a dead end, Dan turned back into the maze of life and sought an alternate path to success.
Daniel Alarik had an idea – to create and sell patriotic apparel he was certain like-minded Americans would snatch up.
It was just a matter of marketing, something he knew next to nothing about but went all in on with what he was confident would be pivotal to his new company.
The giant billboard cost $600 to build and $1000 a month to lease. It was all they had and more than they could lose, but Dan was positive the tens of thousands of people in Fort Benning, Georgia, who would pass right by it would gobble up his inventory and launch his company.
Daniel Alarik was wrong
That billboard almost bankrupt him. The phones didn’t ring. The sales never happened. And Dan was on the phone with the billboard company every day, asking for a little more time to catch up on payments and promising he’d make good on the debt. It was a painful, hard learned lesson, but Daniel Alarik chalked it up to experience and soldiered on.
“That’s what experience is,” he says, “You have those knots on your head and you realize – That’s dumb. Don’t do that.”
It was time to turn back into the maze and find another path. This time he chose smarter. Luckier. The dead ends no longer seemed as devastating, and he quickly maneuvered into another path until he made it through all the setbacks that may cause a less committed man to quit. Today, Daniel Alarik’s company Grunt Style is a culture of unapologetic patriotism and badass national pride that millions of people are a part of.
It’s also valued at approximately $100 million.
More than the financial success, it’s the lifestyle and culture of Grunt Style that makes this success story so unique. With a staff heavily stacked with veterans, it’s the civilians who find themselves the minority at work. The potential for disconnect is huge, but the Grunt Style community is a true team.
“Everything we do, we do together,” Dan says.
Civilians learn military lingo and veterans learn business lessons from their civilian co-workers. They push each other to excel and they help each other through personal challenges.
It all meshes together into a cohesive workforce that becomes an extended family with its own personality.
The Grunt Style brand is not afraid to make its personality shine.
It boasts a love of beer, bacon, and freedom – not necessarily in that order. It offers no excuses for patriotism, and it stands by its word. Its brand is unmistakable in its direct message and humor.
Chief Operating Officer Tim Jensen is just as quirky and outspoken as Dan Alarik. He can be seen in this YouTube video stating “If you’re a Patriot, and you’re awesome, then you need gear that sends the same message,” as he casually invites himself into a customer’s home and closet.
He’s also got his own series on Grunt Style’s American Grit, titled “Violent But true: Bedtime Stories” where he features war heroes throughout history.
Every piece of clothing in the Grunt Style brand is 100% American made.
Each piece of material is created in America. Each item is designed by an American, and each piece is crafted with American hands. So much pride goes into each item, that Dan decided it deserves a full guarantee.
Life happens. Accidents happen, and messes happen. With customers so attached to their Grunt Style clothes, it seemed only right to assure them they would never have to pay for the same item twice. If for any reason – even if you simply spill beer on yourself and stain your Grunt Style clothes – you can send it back for a free replacement.
“Awesome stories welcome,” reads the website, and customers comply, sending their mishap stories along with returned items, or pictures in some cases when the item is unreturnable.
One of the favorite return stories was that of the customer who, out for a walk one day, noticed an American flag hanging too low and draped on the ground.
This customer took his Grunt Style shirt off, tore it into strips, and tied that flag up nice and high. For proof, he sent a picture. True to its guarantee and especially true to its culture, Grunt Style shipped off a free replacement shirt.
Other stories that stand out are those of law enforcement and first responders who can’t resist wearing their Grunt Style clothes on the job, and subsequently wind up with blood stains and tears on their All American Grunt Style clothes.
Just like customers who lost everything in hurricanes or other natural disasters, Grunt Style offers free replacements for everything in those law enforcement and first responders order history.
“We want people to use it,” Dan says. Customers are encouraged to ask for returns and very few have found themselves the subject of scrutiny and banishment for attempting to game the uniquely honorable return code.
Feeling patriotic but looking for something more than apparel? Grunt Style’s got your back.
With a slew of surprises in each month’s Alpha Outpost deliveries – touted as the best subscription box for men although there are plenty of women who would also dig it –their new collaboration in bourbon, aptly labeled Merica Bourbon ( “Born from military veterans who wanted to share the taste of bourbon and freedom”) and hundreds of events offering an up close and personal Grunt Style experience, there is something here for every American tired of being told its un-American to be patriotic.
Daniel Alarik turned $1200 of seed money into a $100 million company
He’s taken lessons learned from dead ends – like the billboard that almost sunk him – and turned them into money-making decisions, like the Super Bowl ad he ultimately decided was too expensive to run during the big game, yet still captured the attention of Fox News and the nation.
Daniel Alarik is doing what he set out to do; Serve something other than himself, and bring patriotism to every home in America. This he will defend.