The success of Liquidity beer paved the way for a series of out-of-the-box, industry-disrupting collaborations between IEX and Goods & Services, including, of all things, the creation of an entirely new craft hot sauce brand (something apparently stock traders love as much as beer).
Why a hot sauce? (Please hold for a short primer on Lit trading, complete with stock market jargon): Like the term liquidity, “Lit” is also a financial markets term that refers to a type of trade where the available liquidity rate is displayed at all times. Whereas “dark” venues do not display prices at which participants are willing to trade, lit pools do, showing various bids and offers in different stocks.
In this case, IEX had just entered the SEC with a new product called D-limit (aka Display or Lit trading), and were eager to promote this new roll out in a manner as creative, buzzworthy, and tangible as Liquidity beer.
For the Goods team, who had immersed themselves in IEX culture for the past few years, one product seemed constant in every traders desk: craft hot sauce. The solution was as exciting as it was obvious. It even named itself. And so Lit and Extra Lit branded hot sauces were born, in serrano and habanero carrot flavors.
Like our famously fun Super Bowl commercials touting Liquidity beer, we thought it was time for an equally creative follow up idea that introduced Lit as the “official unofficial hot sauce of the stock market.” And what better way to roll out a hot new hot sauce flavor than by pairing it with a tasty chicken sandwich? So we produced a viral ad that “won” the chicken sandwich wars without even making one, and at the same time unveiled the promising value of IEX’s exciting new product, D-Limit.
In typical Goods & Services fashion, it proved to be the perfect — and most delicious— “sticky” point, where high-performance technology and consumer goods meet.
To build on the momentum of Lit, in a specially branded promotional tie-in series of podcasts that we couldn’t help but name Heated Conversations, IEX founder Ronan Ryan and IEX Chief Market Policy Officer, John Ramsey, ambitiously but feebly attempt to explain the many benefits and complex details of D-Limit trading, and why it’s an industry changing product, all while gamely munching on mouthfuls of habanero peppers.
Lit was a hit! When news about the hot sauce hit social media, the response was, shall we say, extra spicy. And not just from traders or other financial markets experts, but fans of all tastes and persuasions. Thousands of Twitter and Instagram posters shared their extreme excitement for Lit hot sauce and, in some cases, the many different foods they planned to enjoy it with. On the business front, so popular was the Lit hot sauce campaign, IEX had to put orders extra cases because of the inbound demand from industry insiders who wanted to get a taste of IEX's follow up to Liquidity. A big win for IEX and D-Limit.