Melior sign

Blast From The Past: The Things This Sign Has Seen

As part of The Melior Group celebrating its 35th year in business, throughout 2017-2018 our blog will be featuring throwback posts to explore the company’s earlier days, such as this one with pictures highlighting our 1980s technology and fashions! (Ah, shoulder pads)

Today we’re featuring the first Melior Group sign, a brass plaque which was bolted to the outside of the blue door of our office on 316 S. 16th Street.  This was The Melior Group’s first office after moving out of founder Linda McAleer’s home.  We loved working in this office for over 20 years, and this sign saw it all – daily mail deliveries of paper surveys (now mostly replaced by online surveys), our first taste of the Internet (remember DSL and Ask Jeeves??), our annual Halloween parties and our neighbor’s small children who (gasp) have now graduated college.  We left this office in 2009 and now the building has been converted back to a residential home – we hope they are as happy as we were!

This sign says The Melior Group does “market research” which is true – but now we do so much more, which is why our current sign says “market research consulting”… as we’ve truly become a strategic consultancy that not only provides data, but also the informative insights that help our clients take action.

Still, we keep this old sign in a place of honor in our entryway – welcoming visitors to our office, just as it did for so many years!


Happy Anniversary To Us!

It is with pride and honor that I celebrate The Melior Group’s 35th year in business.  Some time in 1982 in the living room of my home, I had the dream that marketing research could be beneficial to organizations offering services, not just organizations providing products.  With a few people willing to dream with me, we developed the research approach we called Measurement of Perceived Value (or MPV) and assisted public utilities with examining and understanding the value customers placed on the components of their gas and electric service – first, learning what comprised service and then measuring the utilities’ ability to satisfy the things that mattered to customers:  that the lights went on with the switch, that a courteous and knowledgeable person addressed a problem when the customer called, that employees fixed downed poles.

Since then, Melior has been a thought leader and strategic research firm, contributing information, intelligence and insight to clients in higher education, in healthcare, and in the not-for-profit space (among others).  Our marketing director asked me to write about what I am most proud of about The Melior Group… among the many:

  • The amazing team of professionals here, who work collaboratively, are thoughtful for and on behalf of their clients, respect each other’s ideas
  • Those who took the risk with me in 1982 (Michael Halbert, Linda Knoll, Jeffrey Lowenhar) – and, more than anyone, Maitlon Russell – our EVP, the visionary, strategic thinker and coiner of “conventional wisdom is not wisdom… we need to know what consumers value and why”
  • The success of our clients, who recognize the value of strategic thinking and the contribution of research-based insights to planning for their future
  • Being one of the first research firms to work with hospitals as they entered in to the foray of marketing… and continuing to work with some of the best hospitals and health systems in the U.S. today
  • Entering new markets where old ideas may prevail, but client organizations are excited to try new approaches (such as with our community studies for faith-based organizations)
  • Working with education clients to build programs to assure all who want to have access to post-secondary education

The 35th anniversary gemstone is Emerald.  So I’ll close with this… adjectives to define an Emerald that describe today’s Melior are:  brilliant, bright, sparkling and vivid.  Pretty appropriate for a strategic research firm.

To contact Linda McAleer, please e-mail [email protected] or call 215-545-0054 x104

Melior sign

Blast From The Past: Melior’s Early Days

On November 1, The Melior Group will be celebrating its 35th year in business!  In anticipation of this celebration, we thought it would be fun to share some pictures from our early days.  While the newest technology and latest fashions may have changed since what is featured in these photographs, some things haven’t changed:  our belief in having a great team of people, working hard and smart, serving our clients and seeking solutions to their problems.  We look forward to continuing this work in the years ahead!

Melior's 35th anniversaryThis photo features our first “laptop” or portable computer. The keyboard attached to the CPU and then you carried it like a suitcase!



ice cream

Did You Know: July is National Ice Cream Month

Every summer we get excited for the month of July, as it celebrates one of our favorite desserts: ice cream!  President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month in 1984, and specifically, the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day… so this year, National Ice Cream Day is Sunday, July 16.

In his proclamation, President Regan called for everyone in the United States to observe the month with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.”  We interpret that as taking the opportunity to partake in at least one delicious frozen treat.  And there is more than one option… beyond ice cream, this is the chance to try gelato, soft serve, ice pops, FroYo, frozen custard or water ice!  Check out the guide below for some helpful information and fun facts:

(Click image to enlarge)

Let us know in the comments what your favorite is… since we are located in Center City Philadelphia, we at The Melior Group love our water ice!

Rooster Soup Company

Melior Group People of the Moment, Rooster Soup Owners, Open Restaurant

A year ago we heard about Rooster Soup Company, which was clearly going to be more than just a new restaurant opening in Center City. The newest venture of esteemed chefs and restaurateurs Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook aimed to turn the unused parts of the whole chickens purchased by their restaurant Federal Donuts to make chicken stock for a variety of soups to be sold at Rooster Soup Company. Not only do perfectly good chicken parts no longer go to waste, but 100% of Rooster Soup Company’s net profits go to generating revenue for Philadelphia’s Broad Street Ministry, which provides vulnerable Philadelphians with meals and services such as a mailing address, access to free medical care, personal care items, and clothing.

Rooster Soup Company opened today at 1526 Sansom Street. Check out our original blog post to learn more about this exciting new restaurant, and visit the Rooster Soup Company website to peruse the delicious offerings on the menu. We encourage you to try out a meal there, and let us know what you think!



Linda McAleer

Blast from the Past: Philadelphia Business Journal CEO File on Linda McAleer

While going through our press clippings, we found a fun blast from the past that we wanted to share. A few years ago our President, Linda McAleer, was selected to be featured in the Philadelphia Business Journal as part of their ongoing CEO File series.

In addition to expressing her business philosophy and Melior’s accomplishments, Linda shared some fun facts about herself. We think this profile truly encapsulates the spirit of Linda both personally and professionally.

Here are some of the highlights from the article that define Linda’s leadership and personality:

  • Essential business philosophy: Conventional wisdom is not wisdom.
  • Best decision: Starting The Melior Group and recognizing early on that physical exercise is critical for health.
  • Word that best describes you: Ultimate networker.
  • First choice for a new career: Commissioner of the National Football League.
  • Person most interested in meeting: Ruth Bader Ginsburg. When she accepted the nomination to the Supreme Court, she paid tribute to her mother in her remarks … “I pray that I may be all that she would have been, had she lived in an age when women could aspire and achieve and daughters are cherished as much as sons.”
  • The most important lesson you’ve learned: Nothing is constant but change.

To read the full profile of our fearless leader, you can visit the page on Philadelphia Business Journal’s website here.

Career Wardrobe Named Melior Group People of the Moment

Career Wardrobe, a Philadelphia nonprofit, calls for people to “imagine a place where every woman in transition can obtain the confidence she needs in order to achieve the next level of gainful employment.”

During its inaugural year in 1995, the then-named “Working Wardrobe” passed out 938 donated suits to women starting their professional journeys. By 2008, the group celebrated its 50,000th client – proving that women across Philadelphia workplaces have felt the organization’s impact. Now in its 21st year, Career Wardrobe continues to build on its mission of helping women break out of the cycle of poverty by providing support that encourages employment and personal responsibility.

This month’s Melior People of the Moment are the staff and volunteers of Career Wardrobe. We at The Melior Group feel a special kinship with the organization as our President and founder, Linda McAleer, currently serves as a Board Member.

Career Wardrobe has helped Philadelphia-area residents for the past two decades through a comprehensive list of services, including:

  • The Boutique
  • Dress and Image Consultation Program
  • Gateway to Success Job Readiness and Blitz Basic Courses
  • Professional Development Certificate
  • Career Coaching
  • Computer Lab for Job Searching and Networking

Through the years, the organization has continually sought to understand the needs of the community and has adapted to meet those needs. For example, just last year Career Wardrobe launched Make it Work for Men, which expands the dressing services to men in transition. A population as diverse as Philadelphia requires different types of programs to achieve a common goal of professional and career advancement.

career wardrobeCareer Wardrobe’s results speak for themselves: In 2014, 67% of women responding to Career Wardrobe’s follow-up surveys within six months of their appointments reported gaining employment and discontinuing their reliance on cash assistance. The impact on Philadelphia’s economy is significant: a $19 million savings for taxpayers in public assistance for benefits alone.

In our view from Walnut Street, Career Wardrobe is providing Philadelphia citizens, workers, and employers with a vital service. As a women-owned business, we are particularly proud to support Career Wardrobe’s mission and empower women in their professional journeys.

Career Wardrobe now has locations in Philadelphia and Bucks and Delaware Counties, and also partners with organizations in Berks, Chester and Montgomery Counties. As the organization expands, so will its beneficial impact through the Greater Philadelphia area.

For more information, contact Linda McAleer at [email protected] or 215-545-0054 x104 or Contact Us.

The Villanova Wildcats: Our Melior Group People of the Moment

Last week at this time the streets were buzzing with Wildcat fever. From the moment I stepped out of my house and began the commute to work, I saw students past and present donning their Villanova blue.

It was a sunny, blue sky day with just enough chill in the air to keep you cool and comfortable. A perfect day for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship parade. The Villanova Wildcats brought energy and inspiration to Center City last Friday. Philadelphia has been awaiting sports heroes for much too long; our hopes are regularly dashed, but we keep on hoping!


Photo by Tim Keough, taken from the 16th floor of 1515 Market Street: Massive crowds gathered at the end of the parade route at City Hall.

Photo by Tim Keough, taken from the 16th floor of 1515 Market Street: Massive crowds gathered at the end of the parade route at City Hall.

This Villanova Wildcats team helps us believe that we, as a City, can always have hope, with our patience now rewarded with a championship.  That’s why the Villanova Wildcats Basketball Team is more than deserving of our Melior People of the Moment honor. Thanks to them, we all had a reason to celebrate. Whether you went to or are currently going to Villanova or are just thrilled about any Philadelphia sports team, it was a great moment to be a Philadelphian.


Editor’s Note:  Our featured image was taken by parade attendee and our resident March Madness fan, Melior President Linda McAleer.


For more information or to request a proposal, contact Linda McAleer at [email protected] or 215-545-0054 x104 or Contact Us.

Rooster Soup Company

Rooster Soup Owners Named Melior Group People of the Moment

Rooster Soup Company’s Twitter page asks this question, “What if you could help someone who really needed it, just by eating lunch?”

Rooster Soup Company is not just another restaurant opening in Center City.

It’s not just another place to add to your list of go-to lunch spots.

It’s not just another brick and mortar for Mike Solomonov and Steve Cook to add to their already stellar repertoire.

It’s a chance for every person who walks through the door and places an order to feel as though they are helping someone in need.

This month’s Melior People of the Moment are Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. They are the esteemed chefs and restauranteurs behind some favorite Philadelphia spots:  Zahav, Abe Fischer, Dizengoff, Federal Donuts, and Percy Street Barbecue. Rooster Soup Company is their newest venture, where the concept is to turn the unused parts of the whole chickens purchased by Federal Donuts to make chicken stock for a variety of soups to be sold at Rooster Soup Company, in addition to other menu items.

The benefits of this new restaurant are two-fold: perfectly good chicken parts will no longer go to waste and 100% of Rooster Soup Company’s net profits will go towards generating revenue for Philadelphia’s Broad Street Ministry, which provides vulnerable Philadelphians with meals and services such as a mailing address, access to free medical care, personal care items, and clothing.

Cook and Solomonov introduced their partnership with BSM through a Kickstarter campaign back in the summer of 2014 with the goal of raising $150,000 startup capital for Rooster Soup Company. They have since exceeded that amount. The most recent development in this campaign is the announcement of where Rooster Soup Company will live. According to the campaigns Kickstarter site, Rooster will call 1526 Sansom Street home.

In our view from Walnut Street, the hustle and bustle of Center City is palpable. We, The Melior Group, often find ourselves discussing the familiar faces we see every day or the new ones we have not. To say we feel connected to this city and its people would be an understatement. Combine that connection with our love for a new lunch spot and we’re sold. Because, it’s not what Rooster Soup Company is serving per se. It’s knowing you, the customer, is also serving someone else.


Author:  Emily Nydick

For more information, please Contact Us.

Pope's crowds in front of 1528 Walnut Street

They saved the best for last… A Pope Mortem

Pope's crowds in front of 1528 Walnut Street

Photo by Richard Williams, Crowds gathered on Sunday outside The Melior Group offices on Walnut Street in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia for the Pope’s visit.

Well, the Papal visit to Philadelphia is in the past and everyone is now counting up how many people were on which streets at which events. What difference does it make? We showed the world that we are a WORLD-CLASS CITY with a kind, generous, patient, and caring “att-y-tood” – a city that should and will attract world leaders.

It was all we in Philadelphia could talk about – should we stay or should we go? Are you closing your office on Friday, Thursday, Monday? What are those concrete barriers? How did the streets get so clean? But, all that conversation allowed us to be friends with those office mates we never talk to, to chat with the newsstand dealer who typically just hands us the paper and takes our money, to converse with the folks in the elevator who we never look at because we’re always texting or looking at our phones in the elevator. We now demonstrated that we had something in common and something to look forward to.

After what seems like years of preparation, we did it! The city leaders, the police and other security professionals made us feel safe. Sure, a few glitches in terms of waiting too long to get through security. But, were we ever worried about our safety? No.

As a market research firm, we couldn’t help but do a survey in anticipation of the event… we asked our respondents (an unscientific poll) how many people they felt would actually attend the final event on Sunday. The average projected attendance from our poll is 578,850… bet that’s going to be close to accurate!!! That’s why polling works!

Personally, I had only two major disappointments: 1) that there were organizations that were determined to price gouge during the celebration – come on, $40 to park in a lot in Chestnut Hill in order to walk to the train? One of my friends said a parking ticket for staying too long at a meter is only $25!

A sign reads

And 2) that more people weren’t able to take advantage of the wonderful restaurants and shops in Center City – the attention was on the event and not on everything that is going on in Philadelphia. We should now put more effort into demonstrating to these restaurants and shops how happy we are that they are there for us.

After Pope Francis visited D.C. and N.Y.C., he saved the best for last. For one of the largest cities in the U.S., Philadelphians’ friendship and warmth came through and we should all be proud of what we showed to the world.

The Melior Group was founded in 1982 to bring the disciplines of marketing research to service industries. Today, Melior is one of the region’s leading research-based consulting firms, serving organizations in the education, non-profit, healthcare, government, leisure, tourism, and financial services/ insurance sectors.

For more information or to request a proposal, please contact Linda McAleer at [email protected] or Contact Us.

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