02 / Strategy
AFSCME came to GMMB to quickly develop a campaign to get in front of a pending Supreme Court decision that could establish right-to-work as federal law. Instead, we persuaded AFSCME to go deeper and conduct member research to gather insight into members’ perceptions about the union to build a solid, enduring brand platform for a variety of targeted member retention campaigns. Through extensive ethnographic and quantitative research, leadership interviews and persona development, we uncovered a clear gap between the union’s leadership and membership. While union leaders had spent their careers witnessing the power of collective action, the research revealed that rank-and-file members, who are proud to work in public service, wanted more recognition and appreciation for their work from the union and in their communities. We knew our brand strategy would need to tap into this insight and reconcile this divide. Before trying to persuade prospective and current members about the value of collective action, AFSCME would first need to demonstrate respect for them through action.