Archive for the ‘Trade Association Thursdays’ Category

Trade Association Thursday: Retail

January 8, 2009

 

I’ve reference the National Retail Federation’s cheery holiday shopping statistics so I thought they would be a good candidate for a report card:

http://www.nrf.com/

Overview:  The National Retail Federation NRF represents an industry with more than 1.6 million U.S. retail companies, more than 25 million employees – about one in five American workers – and 2007 sales of $4.5 trillion.

Associate members?  Yes, annual membership is anywhere from $500-8,000 for commercial entities. “B”

Public membership directory?  No, looks like you need a membership.  “D”

National conference?  Yes, and they provide a detailed conference schedule with helpful biographical information on the speakers.  “B+”

Subchapters?   Yes, NRF also represents over 100 state, national and international retail associations but not easy to find links to those associations on the main website. “C+”

Industry reports or news?   Excellent list of reports and news. “A”

Glossary?  A limited glossary of retail labor terms: “C+”

Provides a sense of the industry?  Excellent, from the detailed information about their annual conferences, news, reports and government relations, there is lots of information that provides a strong sense of the industry.  “A”

Overall:  The website isn’t that easy to navigate, partly because there is so much information and it appears to be a collection of other website with their own navigation but the content makes it worthwhile. “B+”

National Christmas Tree Association

December 25, 2008

http://www.christmastree.org

Overview:The National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) strives to be one voice representing Christmas Tree Professionals and promoting the use of Real Christmas trees.

Associate membership?  Yes, they have a membership for “related industry” and “associate” members which include forest service and library personnel.  “B+”

Memberships made public?  No, but they do list regional and state associations and some of them (like California) do provide limited information about members.  “D”

National conference?  Yes, its in February and they list a keynote speaker but not sponsors or exhibitors.  One of their topics is about what to expect from the new administration in Washington.  That topic will be included in all trade association annual meetings next year.   “B-“

Subchapters?  Yes, and they are very active and interconnected.  Many of their conferences are listed on the national site.  California has its own website and has an extensive library of articles regarding Christmas tree issues.  “A-“

Industry information?  Yes, they have a list of statistics covering states with the most farms, most popular types of trees, farm acres and the like.  That also provide business to business information about insurance and transportation companies that cater to the Christmas tree industry.  They also have a wealth of consumer information as well.  They don’t make any of their publications available to the general public however.  “B+”

Glossary?  Yes: http://www.christmastree.org/glossary.cfm  “B+”

Sense of the industry?  The site does a good job of covering both consumer issues, while protecting membership information and also providing plenty of useful information about the industry.  Their news section is particularly good and they have an entire section devoted to media outlets wishing to do stories about Christmas trees.  While they do promote “real” trees and also have information about environmental issues, I was surprised there wasn’t more about public advocacy.  “B+”

Overall:   They definitely shield some membership information from public view; publications, member profiles but make much industry information available and have quite a bit of data both consumer and industry available for the public.  “B+”

Trade Association Thursday: Beverages

December 18, 2008

Drink up!  Today’s report is on the American Beverage Association:

http://www.ameribev.org/

Overview:  American Beverage Association represents more than 220,000 workers selling products worth more than $110 billion and includes hundreds of brands such as soft drinks, bottled water, juice drinks and the like.

Associate members?  Yes and also allows for international affiliate members.  No pricing on the website.  “B-”

Public membership directory?  Lists active members but doesn’t include company overviews or contacts.  However, they do make that information available for associate members.  “B-”

National conference?  Yes, every two years they have a conference called “InBev” which is attended by thousands.  Just basic information available on the website.  “C+”

Subchapters?  No sign of them on the website.  “D”

Industry reports or news?  They don’t list their publications but do list other industry publications.  Very little industry news.  They focus on environmental and nutritional issues.  They also provide a few flash pages about the various types of drinks but its hard to use and aimed more at consumers than industry folks.  “D”

Glossary?  No.  “F”

Provides a sense of the industry?  Not very good.  The association’s public website appears aimed at consumers with whatever real content they have for members shield behind a firewall.  “D”

Overall:  Not very useful for research purposes beyond knowing categories of beverages, the names of the industry members and more detailed information about suppliers.  “C-“

Trade Association Thursday:Groceries

December 11, 2008

With the announcement this week of a new president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association and with our focus on the food industry, this seemed the perfect candidate for today’s association report card.

http://www.gmabrands.com/

Overview:  represents the world’s leading food, beverage and consumer products companies.

Associate membership?  Yes and also affiliate membership as well.  Have to call to find out membership price. “B”

Membership directory public?  They provide the names of members but link out to their websites.  “B-”

Conferences and events?  Not clear that they have a single national conference but they have several large conference along with workshops  “B-”

Subchapters? Doesn’t appear to have them.  “D”

Industry reports, information news?  Excellent for full reports, news items and public policy concerns.  “A”

Glossary?  There isn’t a single glossary but the Food Supply Chain Handbook had a list of acronyms.  “C”

What sense does it give you of the industry?  I don’t think the association’s messaging is super clear.  They don’t feature a single mission statement on the website and instead cover a range of issues that makes the association’s priorities and direction somewhat unclear.  However, unlike the organic food association, this one doesn’t waste time with consumers.  It is very focused on the industry and providing a wealth of information about the grocery industry issues and workings.  “B”

Overall:  Very information rich website.  A great resource.  “B+”

Trade Association Thursday: Going organic

December 4, 2008

This news article that talks about how the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is looking to expand its customer base, made me decide to feature the organization this week.  That and the continuation of our focus on food-related trade associations.

Report card:

http://www.ota.com

Overview: The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for the organic industry in North America. OTA’s mission is to promote and protect organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public, and the economy.

1.  Allow association memberships?  Yes, $300 minimum.

2.  Public membership directory?  It lists members both at the full and associate level and gives them a place to provide a profile as well.  This is more advertising than it is company information (revenue, markets, contacts).  “B-”

3. Active national conference?  Yes, but not much detail as registration for the June event starts in January. (“Incomplete”)

4.  Subchapters?  They have membership forums and also an association in Canada.  “C+”

5.  Industry information?  A couple good fact sheets, the news section touts growth of certain sectors.  It also has standards and policy positions as well.  There is a bookstore with some useful sounding titles available for a fee. “B”

6. Glossary of industry terms?  Not really but does provide definitions of organic.  “C-”

7.  Overall sense of the industry?  The association provide a broad range of resources from fact sheets, to policy positions, to consumer pieces along with the list of members and profiles.   “B+”

Overall:  Good amount of content, the website is easy to use, clear and accessible. “B”

Trade Association Thursday: EatTurkey.com!

November 27, 2008

Okay, its real name is the National Turkey Federation but that’s not its website (officially, anyway) which is www.eatturkey.com.

Time for the turkey day report card:

Overview: It defines itself as an advocacy group for all segments of the turkey industry.

1.  Allow associate memberships? Yes, but it appears limited “preferred suppliers.”  Not sure if you are an accounting firm that wants to service this industry, if you could join.  “C+”

2.  Public membership directory?  Sort of.  They provide a list of processors and other organizations.  Its a selective list but a start.  Access to complete membership requires membership.  “C+”

3.  National conference?  Yes but can’t find out about it without being a member “D”

4.  Subchapters or regional associations? Doesn’t appear so but maybe only learn about that as a member. “D”

5.  Industry reports, information, news?  They have extensive consumer resources and also good industry news and information about the turkey industry as well.  “B+”

6.  Glossary of industry terms? Nope.  “F”

7.  What sense does it give you of the industry and people in it?

Okay, if you dig beneath the consumer overlay you find a section on “Industry news” which gives a good sense of their legislative, economic and association priorities however its not super-easy to find.  “B-”

Overall: There is some good industry information on the National Turkey Federation website BUT it takes some digging.  They definitely want to focus on consumers and hide the industry nitty-gritty behind a membership wall.  “C+”

Trade Association Thursday: San Francisco Wine Association

November 20, 2008

Inspired by the San Francisco Wine Association, today I’m analyzing their website.  I’m not going to fill-out a report card since they are a different kind of association.  Some trade associations are NOT primarily for the members but for the public and this is a prime example.  The big tip off is that they don’t feature memberships on their site.  They aren’t looking for people join, they are looking to feature and promote their existing members.

In addition, this site is online retailer, showing the power of small businesses combining to offer their product to consumers, something they probably couldn’t have done individually.  They also share a niche: wine produced in San Francisco, and that makes them stand out together.  

While this is not an association site that will tell you much about the wine industry, it does tell us about how powerful associations are for marketing and in this case, sales purposes.  They got an article written in local business journal that got this visitor to checkout their site and consider purchasing their product.  Could one of these wineries have done that alone?  I doubt it.

San Francisco Wine Association

Trade Association Thursday

November 12, 2008

Ill have the mac n cheese, please

"I'll have the mac 'n cheese, please"

 

 

 

REPORT CARD: National Restaurant Association

http://www.http://www.restaurant.org/

Overview: They comprise 945,000 restaurants and foodservice outlets employing more than 13 million people.

1.  Allow associate memberships? Yes and can use their logo, attend their annual show, get free newsletter but no mention of accessing their directory. But not cheap and membership is based on your revenue.  Lowest level membership is more than $500 annually. “B-“

 2.  Make membership directory public?  Doesn’t appear that they have a directory.  “F”

 3.  Active national conference?  Yes, has an annual conference that non-members can attend. Also has a very thorough list of exhibitors at their annual conference arranged by categories.  Great industry intel; can see the breakdown of products associated with the restaurant industry as well as the providers and all for free.  “A”

 4.  Subchapters or regional associations?  Yes. Treats state associations as partners who have their own websites and further breakdown of chapters. “B”

 5.  Industry reports, information, news?   Yes, most of it is for purchase but can sign up for free industry newsletter as well as get basic industry facts for free. 

“B-“

 6.  Glossary of industry terms?  No “F”

 7.   What sense does it give you of the industry and people in it?  Very good.  They have a thorough public policy and legislative section that outlines lots of issues the restaurant industry faces and their position on those issue. This give you an excellent set of “listening points” were you to engage people in the restaurant industry. “A”

 Overall:  This is an information rich site with lots of great resources, many of them available for free.  In short order (no pun intended) you could get very acquainted with this industry and how to do business with it from reviewing this association site. “A-“

Trade Association Thursday:FEDA

October 30, 2008
Packets of Delight

Packets of Delight

This is a new feature where I’ll look at specific associations and grade them on their marketing value.

REPORT CARD: Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association (FEDA)

http://www.feda.com

Overview: Members are companies that sell equipment and supplies to restaurants.

1.  Allow associate memberships?  Nope but they let you sign up for products if you sell to FEDA members.  You can get a package including membership on disk for $540.  “D”

2.  Make membership directory public?  Nope but you can see the companies that belong to the association.  You can then use their website for additional research.  Time-consuming “D”

3.  Active national conference? Yes, has an annual conference that non-members can attend. “C”

4.  Subchapters or regional associations? Website suggests not. “F”

5.  Industry reports, information, news?  Some, links to article from trade publication, “News and Views” but not much association or industry daily or weekly news. “C-“

6.   Glossary of industry terms?  No, but they do have a glossary of terms for bar coding.  “D-“

7.    What sense does it give you of the industry and people in it? Not great, actually.  On the plus side they provide member companies so you know who makes up the association.  They don’t do much legislative advocacy, the articles and discussions seems more business focused than industry.  For example, the best article is about inventory issues but not much about the type of inventory peculiar to food distributors.  Other articles are about search engine optimization and selling etc.  “C-“

Overall:  D+,  Some basic information but not really enough to make this a site I would use except to research the actual companies listed as members