What is Trademarks?

TradeMarks is a research study which measures the extent to which policy leaders believe associations are effective in achieving their policy goals. Grounded in more than 25 years of experience studying the attitudes and perception of policy leaders, in 2013, APCO Worldwide carried out research in Washington, D.C., and in Brussels to produce the first ever study to tackle the question of association effectiveness with a systematic, survey-based and objective approach. Policy makers and influencers rated a number of associations on both overall effectiveness and on a range of detailed areas. The results show in detail where associations must excel in order to enhance their impact – and how this differs in Brussels and in Washington, D.C.
2016 is the third year we have conducted the study in Washington, D.C. We are now able to start to discern patterns in the data, comparing results from the previous studies. This trend data gives us new insight into changes that may have occurred in association rankings and sector performance over the past year.



APCO Insight® developed the TradeMarks Study in 2013 to identify the key characteristics that define association effectiveness in achieving the public policy priorities of its members. Advanced statistical analysis allowed us to isolate the characteristics that have the most impact in shaping policy success, both in the United States and the European Union. This same model has been used in subsequent studies.

Think all characteristics are equal? Think again.

Click below to explore the relative importance of each of the 15 characteristics in shaping association effectiveness in the United States and the European Union. Learn more about the TradeMarks model and the TradeMarks model methodology.


Click the image above to download a PDF of the TradeMarks Model.


Click on the images below to see which characteristics were most important in each location.

Brussels Model Washington Rankings


Policy leaders recognize that different associations focus their public policy efforts in different areas. Check out the rankings below which reveal the top rated associations and industry sectors across each characteristic comprising the TradeMarks Model.

By understanding how the associations are viewed on each of the discrete drivers of effectiveness (characteristics) and the relative impact these drivers have in shaping overall effectiveness, the TradeMarks Model prioritizes the most important strengths to be leveraged and the most important opportunities to be seized to increase effectiveness.


The tables displayed show which association or industry sector has the highest performance rating of each of the 15 characteristics that comprise the TradeMarks Model.


Click on the images below to see which organizations and sectors performed best by location.

bru-rankings-tn Washington Rankings


TradeMarks measures the relationship between association effectiveness and several key actionable outcomes that are critical to achieving policy success. Learn more about each of the five outcomes below and discover the impact on each one when an association improves its perceived effectiveness score.

TradeMarks Outcomes

Our analysis shows the relationship between an association’s effectiveness and policy leaders’ willingness to engage with the association.

In Brussels:


In Washington:



Are you interested in learning more about the results of this study? Please provide your information below and we will contact you to schedule a briefing.

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