The L’Oreal Brandstorm is getting students to create the next big beauty bug

Have you ever pitched something? Presented a thesis, perhaps? Well, then you’ll know what an absolutely nerve-wracking experience it is, but you still do it anyway. Why? Because what you’re presenting is always going to be more important than the nerves that you feel.

That’s exactly what the students of L’Oreal Brandstorm did earlier this month. In front of a panel of L’Oreal’s top executives of the country and region, eight student groups competed for a chance to go to Paris and shoot their shot at the international Brandstorm.

To give you an idea of how big this whole competition is, these eight groups (composed of three students each) won their spots from a pool of 4,734 players from more than 30 universities around the country. This makes the Philippine version of Brandstorm the biggest in South Asia and the second biggest in the world. It’s a pretty big deal.

But what actually happens at Brandstorm, you ask? If you haven’t caught on from the company organizing it, the competition features pitches for products for the beauty industry. The students were challenged to pitch for products that can fit into the L’Oreal Active Cosmetics Division, which include brands like SkinCeuticals, CeraVe, La Roche-Posay and more. Their directive was to create “the future skincare experience for health-conscious consumers.” After coming up with a product, they research about their target market, come up with a marketing plan, prepare financials, the works. It’s a whole lotta effort, and the students take about six months to prepare for their pitch at the national finals.

Skinsational: Team Into Your Gene’s winning pitch at this year’s L’Oreal Brandstorm featured a product that delivers nutrients to the skin by using the technology of skin patches.

Once they get to the stage, each team gets five minutes to present. After that, they are asked a few questions by the panel of judges from L’Oreal. The teams are judged not just based on their product pitch, but the way they pitch it, too — they’ll be representing the Philippines in Paris in front of an international audience, after all. While the products of the eight groups had their own strengths and things to work on, there were definitely some trends that we saw during the presentations, which reflect the current zeitgeist of the beauty industry. The first is self-care, which is gaining more and more traction as a marketing tool for products. Second is connectivity and monitoring: almost all the products pitched had an accompanying app, in which the consumer can keep track of their skin’s state, order refills of the product, get in touch with a dermatologist or customer service, and more.

The group that prevailed was Into Your Genes from UP Diliman, which is composed of Annicka Bautista, Martin Cruz (who also won the Best Speaker award of the evening), and Guia Peralta. Their product was a skin patch called In.Skin that delivers a personalized solution targeted towards the consumer’s skin problems like acne and dry skin. It works by directly stimulating the user’s DNA. It’ll be made of silicone, which means it’s reusable and refillable (sustainability was also a recurring theme in the presentations). While there were other skin patch solutions from the other groups, Into Your Genes’ product execution and presentation won the judges over. If they win in Paris (fingers crossed!) they’ll get the chance to bring their product to life by joining a three-month immersion program at Station F, a start-up campus in Paris and a partner of L’Oreal. I mean, we could totally use a product like Into Your Genes’ in the market.

 

Got an idea for a product you’d like to bring to life? Visit brandstorm.loreal.com to know more, and head to facebook.com/lorealbrandstormofficial for updates on the competition in Paris.

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