About the TradeMarks Model

TradeMarks is a groundbreaking model developed by APCO Insight (working in partnership with EurActiv in Brussels) that measures the extent to which policy leaders believe associations are effective in achieving their policy goals for their members.

TradeMarks is the first study to ever tackle the question of association effectiveness with a formal, systematic and objective approach. The TradeMarks model pinpoints the specific actions that can be taken to achieve optimal impact in each area and quantitatively determines the relative impact of each factor. It allows us not only to measure effectiveness, but also to provide an actionable roadmap to associations for how to increase their perceived effectiveness and achieve their desired outcomes.

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.

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The TradeMarks Model: Methodology

The TradeMarks Model was informed by more than 20 years of conducting qualitative and quantitative research for associations among Washington, D.C. policy leaders – the Members of Congress and their staff, executive branch professionals and other influencers who shape the opinions of associations.

Based on this experience and conversations with our partners, a list of 52 characteristics that define association effectiveness on policy issues was developed. A pre-test survey was conducted among policy leaders to isolate and validate the key characteristics that drive perceptions of association policy effectiveness; the modeling identified 15 valid factors that explain what policy leaders consider when evaluating an association’s public policy effectiveness.

In 2013, a full-scale survey of policy leaders in Washington, D.C. and Brussels was conducted using a mixed-mode methodology offering respondents the opportunity to complete the survey either online via APCO’s web-based platform, insightwebpoll.com or over the telephone. The Brussels survey was available to complete in English and in French.

Policy leaders were asked to evaluate five randomly-selected associations from a list of 50 associations in Washington, D.C., and 55 in Brussels. The results shown on this site are limited to data for the association sector in each capital as a whole. All data, including association-level data, are the exclusive property of APCO Worldwide and EurActiv as appropriate. For information on findings for individual associations, please click here to contact us for more information.

Beginning in the fall of 2014, this study was repeated using the same methodology.

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Trademarks Outcomes Methodology

The Outcomes / Effectiveness Index Impact begins with the development of a robust measurement model of the effectiveness of associations. The model reflects the specific and unique expectations of policy influencersholders for association policy effectiveness. The measurement model provides a highly reliable index of association effectiveness and that of the individual associations included in the study.

Our analytic models analyze the statistical relationship between the Effectiveness Index and key outcome variables which are derived from the survey data. The predictions shown in the Outcomes / Effectiveness Index Impact are based on regression models analyzed from observed data.

As with any regression model, the predicted outcomes shown are subject to the caveat of ceteris paribus (assuming all other variables except those under immediate consideration are held constant) and are subject to multiple sources of known and unknown error, including sampling error for survey data, error as a function of self-reported outcomes and all other sources of survey error that cannot be precisely measured or estimated. Furthermore, all measures of correlation (including regression analysis) do not imply causation.

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About the Rankings
The Rankings present the top scoring organization for each characteristic, from among the trade associations we studied in Brussels and Washington, D.C., using the TradeMarks methodology. As such, rankings do not necessarily include “best in the City” — some organizations were not reviewed. Furthermore, top scores on a particular characteristic should not be interpreted as receiving top scores overall. Some organizations performing very high in aggregate on the TradeMarks Index did not receive top marks in any one category.

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About EurActiv
euractivEurActiv, the European Media Network present in 12 EU capitals, publishes free EU news and facilitates EU policy debates for policy professionals in 12 languages. With 2+ million page views and 667,484 ‘unique visitors’ per month, EurActiv is the leading online media on EU affairs. We address 80% of our readers in their own language.

EurActiv targets EU policy and business stakeholders, journalists, NGOs and other multipliers across Europe. EurActiv provides a ‘one-stop shop’ where users can compare major stakeholder positions, original source documents, videos and informed opinion from guru bloggers.