The winning teams posing for the camera after the finals.
FORTY three student teams from around the world gathered in Paris recently to compete in the 22nd International Finals of L’Oréal’s Brandstorm business game. The teams, each comprising three students from partner universities around the world, and one wild card team selected through social networks, were challenged to put themselves in the shoes of an international marketing director at Kiehl’s and imagine a new product range for the the brand’s men’s portfolio.
Team Trilogics from Taylors University in Malaysia was placed first, winning a trip, worth 10,000 (RM44,000), to the city of their choice.
Team members Karen Wan, Edmund Chee and Vincent Yeo dreamt up Bold Back, a skin range that addresses the problem of back acne. Chee and Yeo both experience this problem and were interested in finding a solution for it. The international business and marketing students handled the facts-and-figures aspect of Trilogics’ business strategy, while Wan, an advertising major, was in charge of product design and communications.
Edmund and his team mates learnt a lot from watching their competitors present their product ideas.
“Seeing how others worked, helped us to improve our presentation. We’re very happy and surprised we won and we’re glad we pushed ourselves to excel,” he said.
Karen added, “We’re all under 21, and we told ourselves that we’ll make it to Paris and once we were there, we gave it our all. We’re so grateful to everyone from L’Oreal for their support and their feedback; we wouldn’t have made it without them.”
Vincent explained that “the constant mentoring by L’Oreal’s HR and Kiehl’s teams helped us to constantly improve ourselves.”
“This is the first win for Malaysia in our 11 years running this competition locally, and we are extremely proud of team Trilogics,” said L’Oréal Malaysia country manager Ashwin Rajgopal.
“These students represent the ever-growing pool of capable and innovative young minds that have shown great potential, and I extend my heartiest congratulations to them,” he said.
The competition’s second and third places went to Team Gravity from Lahore University of Management Science in Pakistan for their Suave & Scruff product, and Team Waseda from Waseda University in Japan for their Eye Revival Mask. These teams won trips worth 5,000 euros (RM22,000) and 2,500 euros (RM11,000).
This year, the Digital Prize went jointly to the Brandstorm teams from the Universidad de Alicante and the University of Indonesia.
The Brandstorm business game is part of the L’Oréal Human Resources communication strategy and aims to enhance students’ creativity and perception of the L’Oréal business. The innovative competition offers students from around the world real-life marketing experience, transforming classroom lessons into concrete realisations, while giving students the opportunity to discover careers within the Group and get talent-spotted.
“This project is a unique way to spot talents as well as give them real-life opportunities,” said L’Oréal Malaysia human resources director Nora Mahbob.
Every year, the company recruits about 200 students via Bandstorm.