On departure for L'Oréal Brandstorm 2017 international round in Paris, Chemerical Team of 3 AU BBA students as Thailand Team, no one hardly ever dreamed of coming back with the trophy. What a splendid surprise beyond our expectations! But here they are: placed top winning team of L'Oréal Brandstorm, the first time ever for Thailand!!
Now let’s meet the Champions: Veerin Worakittisophon, Belle Ling and Journey Ling.
How many teams from how many regions and countries, were at L'Oréal Brandstorm 2017? Was the number of participating teams similar to the previous years?
42 teams from 5 regions made it to the final round in Paris, competing in either Brand Challenge or Tech Challenge. We competed in the Brand Challenge. There were 60 countries, up from 58 last year, in the first round. This year the number of participants had increased by 70% from last year. There were around 15,000 participants last year and over 25,000 participants this year.
Would you explain about the judging process including how many rounds you had to go through and how did you convince the judges with your product?
The competition was divided into two parts. The first part of the competition was an innovation fair where we were stationed at a booth and the judges came to us. We had 5 minutes to pitch our brand concept to a panel of 2-3 judges. Following those 5 minutes, the judges then had 5 minutes to ask us questions. Then the bell rang and another panel of 2-3 judges came to our booth to hear our pitch. In total, we had pitched to 6 panels of judges and each judge voted for their favorite team. This was difficult because it was very loud and we really needed to engage the judges. The top 3 Brand teams and the top 3 Tech teams were invited to present to a panel of VIP judges, a total of 6 experts in the field. After being placed in the top 3 in the innovation fair, we were invited to present our concept to the VIP judges and audience on stage. In that round, we had exactly 5 minutes to present and then 5 minutes of Q&A.
What kinds of questions do the judges ask? Could you give some sample questions? How did you answer them?
The judges asked questions about the product, the marketing strategies and return on investment. For example, they asked about the suitable spokesperson to carry our product. For that, we gave them two answers. L'Oréal could continue with Lucky Blue Smith, an influencer who is already one of L'Oréal Men Expert’s spokesperson or they can approach a new celebrity, Zac Efron, since he is a perfect representation for people who travels, go to the gym and play sports. Another question we got asked was about return on investment, they wanted to know our logics behind the numbers. So, we answered by explaining how we got the numbers from our research and how we did the calculation to arrive at that particular range of ROI.
What do you think contributed to your success as the winner? In other word, why they selected your team as top winner?
According to the given grading criteria, the company was expecting innovation, usefulness, feasibility and scalability. We recognized the problems faced by millennial men when they travel to places carrying liquid shower products and we wanted to provide a solution to that. We kept our idea simple so people can easily understand and at the same time made sure that this innovation is able to tackle the problem and meet the given criteria. We believe the synergy helped us win the competition.
What did you learn from this activity, and what would you like to say to other AU students?
Joining L'Oréal Brandstorm was one of the best experiences we have ever had. First, we have learnt how to manage time since we were in our final year in the University and had tons of major projects to do as well as exams and quizzes. Therefore, we had to prioritize our works at university while managing time for Brandstorm competition. Second, we have learnt how to think out of the box. This was totally different from sitting in the classroom and reading books. We had a chance to apply what we have studied in class into the real world. Also, since the brand this year was “Loreal Men Expert”, we, as girls, were challenged to understand men consumers and come up with a product that answers their needs.
To our course mates and friends at Assumption University, thanks for the support throughout this journey. To other AU students who are interested in joining extra-curricular activities like this, we’d like to share this quote from John Barrow to you, “If you never try, you'll never know what you are capable of.” If you are interested in this competition, you should really join it. We never thought we could come this far, but we made it. Through Brandstorm, we got to learn new things, gain experience and make new friends. This is an excellent platform to express your creativity and apply the knowledge learnt in the University. Plus, you might even get a job at L'Oréal!
Can you name one of the biggest advantages from participating in L'Oréal Brandstorm?
One thing stands out clear to us is a chance to meet world renowned experts and CEOs from many countries. Without the Contest we would never have had a chance to come across them in person.
Anything you would like to add to what you have told us?
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank a few parties. First, we’d like to thank L'Oréal for organizing this competition for students to expand our horizon and to challenge ourselves. We want to thank L'Oréal Thailand for including Assumption University in this competition so that we can have the opportunity to join it. We want to say a special thank you to K. Anurak (P’ Nu) for his professionalism in organizing the competition in Thailand and for taking good care of us when we were in Paris. Second, we want to thank MSME for the support in the past few months. Thanks to Marketing faculty especially Dr. Suwanna, for organizing this competition in AU, and a big thank you to our IBM family for all the support, guidance and encouragement throughout this journey. We want to specially thank Dr.Radha, Dr. Amonrat, A. Wendy and A. Janyaporn for the constant training, support and encouragement during the competition period. Lastly, we want to thank our friends and family for believing in us and supporting us from the beginning till the end. We are very grateful for all the encouragement and hope that we made you proud. :)
Our heartfelt congratulations to you all for making a page on AU history!