Posted in Marketing and Strategy Terms, Total Reads: 451
Definition: Trade Association
A trade association, sometimes known as an industrial trade group, is a mutual assistance organization that strives to promote growth and progress in a specific industry. A trade association is a unit founded and funded by organizations that are a part of the specific industry that the association represents. Trade associations provide representative and cumulative information, products and services to businesses with common interests. They are usually non-profit organizations with elected board members. They can be considered to have evolved from guilds that trained individuals or groups of individuals in particular skills and certified them as well.
Most trade associations are directly involved in publishing as well. In return for a nominal subscription fee, the trade association offers a wide range of products and services including training material, networking, advice on best practices, research publications etc.
Trade associations play a crucial role in shaping up the industry’s future:
• Act as a central information repository about the industry
• As representative bodies, they put forward the collective position, opinion and issues voiced by its members to concerned government bodies, agencies or regulators
• Help establish best practices and build guidelines for better performance
• Attempt to influence public policy and lobby for measures that would benefit the industry
• Through licensing, education, membership standards and public service advertising, they strive to promote the image of the industry. The purpose of the advertisements could be either to promote the industry’s image or to shape opinion on a particular issue.
• Regulate the industry’s performance, although not directly. Membership of the industry trade association is seen as a certification of quality in most industries