How we became Lucid or the story of the Real Boy

Finally, we are a real boy.

No longer are we the little startup company in New Orleans in an obscure niche industry that few people truly understand. No longer are we the “what if this works’ business model of programmatic sampling built upon an open exchange platform. We have arrived and we are very, very real.

“Figaro, you know what I wished? I wished that my little Pinocchio might be a real boy! Wouldn’t that be nice? Just think, a real boy.”

When we started Federated Sample, we knew we had landed on something special. We built a common platform for sampling, Fulcrum, that fundamentally changed the way market research operates. Over the past five years, we’ve introduced the concept of programmatic sampling to the industry and propagated the use of APIs as the core methodology to communicate between buyers and sellers. But maybe, most importantly, Sample has become an industry in its own right, leading the way with technology, acumen, and a desire to pull market research into the 21st century.

Last summer, we knew we were creating a branding problem when we split into two independent business units, Federated Sample and Fulcrum, without changing the name of the parent company. How does one differentiate between Federated Sample the overall company vs. the business unit? Awkward…

Blue Fairy:Prove yourself brave, truthful and unselfish, and someday you will be a real boy.”

Pinocchio:A real boy!”

Jiminy Cricket:That won’t be easy.”

Blue Fairy:You must learn to choose between right and wrong.”

Creating a new brand as a founder is an exciting and daunting process

You have to define your core principles first. What are the deep abiding values of the business that all branding must reflect? Who are we and what do we represent?

  1. “Truthful” — Transparency — honest and open dialogue with our partners is paramount. Clear understanding and documentation of how our technology works and which suppliers are available.
  2. “Brave” — Transforming the mundane into magic — otherwise known as bringing the sexy back to sample. No longer is sample a back-office function of the market research function. Sampling is high-tech, high speed and core to how insights are delivered.
  3. Bad-Ass Technology — The placeholder for the new company name was Bad-Ass Technology Company, or BATCO. Not only is software at our core, we have a world class dev team in New Orleans that any company in NYC or SF would be jealous of.
  4. “Unselfish” — Disruptor with a heart for the future — It’s true, introducing an exchange into an industry run by brokers, will ruffle a few feathers. But the true suppliers and buyers could not be more thrilled with the result. Better financial outcomes for both sides, clarity of transactions, and the efficiency of APIs.
  5. Massive global scale — Fulcrum will handle $100 million in sample represented by 50 million unique respondents in over 100 countries in 2015.

Pinocchio: “But father, I’m alive. See?”

Pinocchio: “And… and I’m… I’m real. I’m a real boy!”

Geppetto: “You’re alive! And… and you are a real boy!”

But what really happened through this process is we’ve shifted from being a startup company to a high-growth software company. For five years we’ve built steak — a real company, with real growth, and real profits, in New Orleans. Now it’s time to share the sizzle. The foundation is laid. We’ve put the incredibly hard work in. Now let’s go crush it!

Finally, we have a brand, a name, and a logo, that represents our business: past, present and future. Thanks to all that worked so hard to make this happen: our team, our executives, and our creative partners: Elizabeth Brooks and Kyle Mortensen… especially. Thank you New Science and Deltree.

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