Have you ever heard of L’Oréal? … Or Paris? So have we! So when they both come calling, you answer at all costs!
Teams ‘The New Beauty’ (Jacob Pratt, Emily Barry, and Georgia Tayler) and ‘PRISM’ (Nathan Hua, Jack Collins, and Chloe Jinks) were two teams representing QUT Business School at the L’Oréal Brandstorm Australian National Finals in Melbourne with innovations that aimed to invent the future skincare experience for health-conscious consumers.
Though the journey to L’Oréal’s international finals in Paris fell short at Melbourne, personal mentoring opportunities, real-world development, and invaluable networking sessions provided a memorable experience for all involved.
Admittedly, while the ‘Brandstorm’ journey may have been sparked from wanderlust, what followed was nothing short of amazing. Take 34,000+ students across 63 countries and spark their inner entrepreneur with the elusive world of ‘innovation’ and you have yourself a case competition like no other.
So what was L’Oréal Brandstorm 2019 all about? Let’s find out!
The L’Oréal Brandstorm Journey
The L’Oréal Brandstorm Journey set sail in late 2018 with high hopes of pitching in Paris to become the ‘Brandstorm World Champions’. While this seemed easy at first, what followed suit was anything but. After months of idea formulation, countless slide decks, and feedback sessions – what started as a shallow-minded dream turned into an intensive creative process as teams fought to be selected for the Australian National Finals in Melbourne.
Following the national selections came a short sigh of relief as two QUT teams were selected to represent down south and pitch in front of executives from one the world’s most prominent brands. With the Brandstorm National Finals came a new range of challenges as more depth, preparation, research, and practice was required. During these stages, both teams fully immersed themselves to truly generate innovative brand campaigns, suitable for one of the industries best.
‘The New Beauty’ founded by Jacob Pratt, Emily Barry, and Georgia Tayler utilised the concept of individuality and proactivity, introducing ‘Skinceauticals Biomatch’ to the world. A DNA based skincare system that could efficiently detect, eliminate, and prevent skin diseases or imperfections such as eczema.
‘Prism Consulting’ founded by Jack Collins, Nathan Hua, and Chloe Jinks, however, utilised immersive touchpoints through a device and application that identifies solutions for each individual’s skincare needs using biophoton diffusion, spectrophotometer technology, AI algorithms.
Both teams did an exceptional job in developing and refining their innovations and after many sleepless nights, countless drafts, and one-too-many coffees – they delivered fantastic pitches in front of the judging panel. Teams representing the QUT Business School worked admirably and networked professionally, making the most out of the Brandstorm opportunity.
While ambitions to represent Australia at the International Finals were cut short, winning team ‘ACE’ should be highly commended, with an impeccable presentation and a viable skincare system that harnessed current L’Oréal technology.
So what happens when two ‘real worlds’ collide?
I mean this in the most ‘cliché’ and ‘ironic’ way possible when I say that sometimes it’s less about the destination and more about the journey… Sounds great right? So what happens when these two ‘real worlds’ collide? The answer is a completely immersive experience that pushes professional and personal development like never before.
While initially sceptical of case competitions, I now see them as a necessary learning tool to develop real-world experience and develop a professional skill set. The level of critical thinking and creativity required to formulate real solutions for real companies is something so blissful and exciting that I see it as a ‘must’.
Perhaps the most eye-opening encounter of the whole experience came from the countless feedback sessions and from panel questions, as these moments define a new level of learning which is often not reached through theory alone.
Both teams were paired up with personal mentors from L’Oréal who not only provided distinct corporate knowledge and exclusive industry insight but challenged the way ideas were formed and the process behind conclusive findings. In tandem, both teams had access to workshopping opportunities with QUT’s Ingrid Larkin and Larry Neale before being exposed to questions from the judging panel following their Melbourne pitches.
In the beginning, these moments make you question everything about your innovation and will induce more stress than I would care to admit, but what happens by then end, with enough attention, is something so valuable moving forward… You begin to adopt the psychology behind the process and learn to mimic how or why questions come to light. There are patterns. This is perhaps the most valid reason I advocate the L’Oréal Brandstorm, as with the right focus, you begin to adopt a mindset that can anticipate problematic aspects of an idea and form solutions accordingly.
How L’Oréal Brandstorm can help kickstart your professional career!
Though it would be great to talk about our interactions at the L’Oréal Brandstorm forever, what has been learned from the experience is distinctively more interesting and beneficial to those looking at competing in industry-based competitions around QUT. Here’s how the L’Oréal Brandstorm can help kickstart your professional career!
Develop your skillset
When it comes to developing both your professional and personal skillset, L’Oréal Brandstorm throws you right into the deep end. Through the process, you are forced to adopt highly valuable skills in order to be successful. From the multitude of feedback opportunities and intensive creative workshopping to real-world pitching strategies and critical thinking – this case competition delivers a wealth of growth opportunities ideal for your future career.
Network with the industries best
Finally, perhaps the most valuable asset in building a future career was the networking opportunity provided throughout the entire process. Besides personally connecting with a professional from L’Oréal, both teams had the opportunity to network with Australian executives and like-minded students from other regions of Australia. While the benefits of networking can often be overlooked, you should never underestimate the importance of connecting with like-minded professionals and potential employers.
To top this whole conversation off, we would like to offer a big thank you to QUT Business School and those involved with our L’Oréal Brandstorm journey in 2019! I hope to see many of you in the years to come!
Best of luck!