Jun 16

June 16, 2015

Strategic Consulting

Success: When Market Research Goes Beyond Delivering Insights

Oftentimes, a question comes out of a corporate meeting that requires the expertise of a market research firm to answer.  Typically, a methodology is chosen, executed and the data is collected as well as synthesized for the client – serving up the answer.  Seems simple enough, but it only scratches the surface when the reality of the need is systemic.  Driving positive change throughout an organization many times starts with a solitary question – but is it the right question? …

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May 28

May 28, 2015

Merchandising Audits

Merchandising Audits: You Can’t Fix What You Can’t See

You work hard to craft every message sent to your customers’ email inboxes, mobile phones, and social media accounts, cultivating a personal digital relationship.  You design beautifully functional products that are a pleasure to use, but what happens when perfectly primed customers and artfully crafted products make their way into an aisle owned by a retail partner, with competitors jockeying for in-aisle position? Understanding and influencing the presence, condition, and environment of your products in-store should always be a goal,…

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May 20

May 20, 2015

Casual Dining

Historical Changes within the Casual Dining Industry

Directly correlated to the rise of fast casual restaurants is the decline of the casual dining industry. Throughout the 20th century, the casual dining restaurant was a staple of American life. What has led to its decline and what steps will the industry have to take to return to its glory days? The Development of Casual Dining is Accelerated Post-WWII The beginning of the casual dining phenomenon can be traced back to the 1950’s, post- WWII. It was then that…

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Apr 27

April 27, 2015

Understanding your Competitive Landscape

Understanding Your Competitive Market Landscape

For some businesses, closing the doors for good is a permanent solution to what might have been a temporary problem.  Although not in every case, there are instances when disaster could have been averted if the appropriate market research solution(s) was in place. It is of the utmost importance to take the pulse of your brand and determine how it compares to the competition. These are questions you should be asking yourself. What are my customers’ expectations when they visit…

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Apr 16

April 16, 2015

Fast Casual

Fast Casual: The Restaurant Model of the Future?

In the fiercely competitive restaurant industry, the fast casual segment has proven to be a quickly rising star. It is clear that many of the core qualities of fast casual restaurants have resonated with consumers, leaving other restaurant segments scrambling to adapt to this changing customer preferences. What has contributed to the ascent of fast casual restaurants, and what does it mean for the future of the restaurant industry? Millennials and Fast Casual: A Perfect Pairing The most pressing question…

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Mar 10

March 10, 2015

beacon technology

Beacons: Redefining the Mobile Customer Experience

As hand-held technology has become more commonplace, businesses are facing a new challenge of determining how to engage with their mobile users in a meaningful way. Retailers are beginning to address this task through the use of beacon technology. In this sense, a beacon is a small sensor placed in-store that emits a wireless Bluetooth signal which is picked up by smartphones whose users have downloaded the specific app linked to the beacon.  The smartphone then sends users a targeted…

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Feb 27

February 27, 2015

AEP 2015

Top Violations Found in AEP 2015 Secret Shopper Compliance Programs

Supporting over 30 health plans nationwide in their compliance towards CMS Marketing Guidelines, TrendSource is in a unique position to identify the top violations that occurred during AEP 2015. Based on over 4,000 completed secret shop compliance audits during the 2015 AEP season, we found the following to be the top violation trends. Most of these violations were not trending during AEP 2014. Across the board, health plans improved their performance by addressing violations identified during AEP 2014. Events and…

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Feb 12

February 12, 2015

2014 Post Holiday Study

2014 Post-Holiday Study: A Wintry Mix of Consumer Insights

Consumers across the U.S. have been battling the cold, wintry storms for months. But no mega polar vortex could stop them from putting on their snowshoes, hats and scarves to head to the stores this past holiday season. In fact, 96% of respondents from our 2014 Post-Holiday Consumer Insights Report identified visiting a physical store as their preferred channel to purchase holiday gifts. While in-store shopping remains first choice, holiday shoppers are using their mobile devices for much more than…

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Jan 23

January 23, 2015

CMS Compliance Programs

TrendSource’s AEP 2015 in Review

That’s a wrap! The AEP 2015 season has come to a close, and health plans are now working to deliver the services promised to their new beneficiaries. During our 6th AEP season, we conducted over 4,000 compliance audits between 10/01/2014 – 12/07/2014. Below are the trends we observed across a variety of plan types and regions.   DIFFICULTY LOCATING EVENTS Secret shoppers encountered difficulty finding events, even when they arrived at the correct location and spoke to venue employees (e.g….

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Jan 13

January 13, 2015

Mystery Shopping Design

Designing the Right Mystery Shop Program For Your Organization

Corporate strategies can succeed or fail for a number reasons. Most failures can be explained by the strength of the strategy or the strength of execution. Mystery Shop Programs as a Tool to Drive Successful Execution Given the importance of successful execution, there are many tools available to organizations to ensure that this is not a point of failure in their strategies. One commonly used tool is execution of mystery shop programs. The majority of programs are designed to assess…

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