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. 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.
In the fall of 2014, we are carrying out a second survey that will again measure which associations have been most effective over the last year, and what lies behind this success. Comparing results with those from 2013 will show how perceptions of trade associations have changed or stayed the same over the last year.



APCO Insight® developed the TradeMarks Study 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.

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
bru-sector-rankings dc-sector-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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