TWINS Natasha Bong Sue Yan and Natalia Bong Sue Yin together with their teammate Nur Azre Abdul Aziz make up Team Achieve, which will represent Malaysia in Paris, France, at this year’s L’oreal Brandstorm National Finals in June.
The three girls from INTI College Subang wowed the judges with their an app called “Swish” to entice millenials to patronise L’Oreal partner salons.
Natasha says they chose the catchy name because it is the sound made when you flip your hair.
“The second reason is we wanted it to be a verb and not a noun, like how you would say Google this.”
Natalia, 20, says their app allows patrons to book a salon appointment and will connect with a smart mirror at the salon of their choice so that they can “preview” their new look before committing to it.
Users of the app can also review the stylist, salon and the experience itself, she adds.
The girls say they interviewed their peers to find out what they wanted when they go to a hair salon before coming up with the app.
“Many wanted a quick and convenient experience. They want to be confident about their hair at the end of the day,” she adds.
The features of this app is a combination of the apps millennials love the most - Uber, Trip Advisor, Instagram, Tinder and Fave, chimes in Nur Azre, 24.
The team also impressed the judges when they showed them a prototype of the app on their smartphones.
All participants were required to present a corporate social responsibility element in their pitches and Team Achieve did not fail to deliver.
They came up with the idea of donating one’s hair in return for rewards and also to “pay it forward” so that someone less privileged could also pamper themselves at the salon.
This year’s competition saw 73 teams of tertiary students pitching their innovations for the L’Oreal Professionnel hair care line.
Three teams competed in the national finals held recently and were tasked to “invent the professional salon experience of the future.”
They were Team Aureale from the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Team Cutting Edge from Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus, Taylor’s University and Team Achieve.
L’Oreal Malaysia managing director Malek Bekdache says all three teams in the national finals did well and their ideas were very insightful.
“It’s been exciting to see how the youngsters think out of the box,
“At the same time, L’oreal can also spot future talents that can join our team. In fact, 60% of our graduate trainees come from Brandstorm.”
Constantly looking for new talents, L’Oreal is particularly interested in entrepreneurial and innovative talents who question the status quo and aim to evolve and reinvent constantly.