L’Oréal India on Monday, 14 April announced the winners of their flagship international marketing game, L’Oréal Brandstorm 2014. The winning team from IIM Shillong – Team ‘Brandwagon’, comprising team members Balakrishnan M, Ninad Shukla and Ramanathan K beat a total of 12 teams to win. They will go on to compete against teams from 44 countries at the international finals which will be held in Paris this June. Winners of the international competition will win 10,000 Euros towards a trip anywhere in the world and the coveted L’Oréal Brandstorm Cup.
Conceptualised and launched in 1993, L’Oréal Brandstorm provides a unique opportunity for marketing students to unleash their creativity and to apply their ground-breaking ideas to one of L’Oréal’s international brands. The challenge is to develop a new product line for the brand with a fully integrated marketing plan and launch campaign.
This year L’Oréal Brandstorm partnered with Kiehl’s, one of the top brands in the world wide luxury cosmetics market with a unique business model. Students had to keep in mind the brands growth in men category and bear in mind Kiehl’s diverse distribution channels and also focus on the brand’s three pillar charities: HIV/AIDS research, Children’s Causes and the Environment. Team IIM Shillong won the finals for their out of the box creativity, excellent team work, innovative product ideas, thorough market research and an overall well-integrated campaign presentation. The ideas will be further worked on to compete at the global finals.
Other finalists who participated in the finals were Team ‘Kiehl-ing –You-Softly’ from SCMHRD, Pune who won the first runners up, team ‘Dexter’s Lab’ from SPJIMR, Mumbai, who won the second runner up and team ‘The Outliers’ from FMS, Delhi as the fourth contender. Each team presented their proposals for a new Kiehl’s product to a panel of experts from L’Oréal India comprising of Jean-Christophe Letellier – Managing Director, Mohit James – Director-HR, Marco Riggio – Director – Luxe Division, Anurag Tyagi – General Manager – Kiehl’s, L’Oréal India and Anuradha Sengupta – broadcast journalist and producer.
Mohit James, Director-HR, L’Oréal India said, “L’Oréal Brandstorm is a strong attraction tool for us to engage with universities to show that L’Oréal is the best marketing company in the world whilst also having a chance to recruit the finest marketing talent. Over the years, this fiercely contested competition has brought to the forefront some really interesting marketing ideas and outstanding talent from the teams. The objective of this programme is to put the team in the shoes of a L’Oréal brand manager and to come up with an idea for a new product while thinking as a strategist, an analyst and a leader.”
He further added, “The competition this year was no less exciting than the previous years and the teams were really put to the task. My heartiest congratulations to the team from IIM Shillong, for the well-deserved victory and also, wishing them the best to bring home the international ‘L’Oréal Brandstorm 2014’ title.”
Expressing their exhilaration over winning the finals, team Brandwagon from IIM Shillong said, “We are thrilled to have won the L’Oréal Brandstorm 2014 national title. The entire ‘L’Oréal Brandstorm’ journey has been very educational for us and we are looking forward to presenting our ideas at the international finals in Paris. Once we won the east zone finals, we totally became obsessed with the challenge and worked very hard towards it. We thank L’Oréal India for giving us this opportunity.”
L’Oréal India opened the 2014 ‘L’Oréal Brandstorm’ challenge to about 18 Top Indian Business Schools and received about 1200 student registrations. The top four teams were selected by the L’Oréal marketing team through regional elimination rounds in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Before the National finals, the teams were invited for a special briefing day where they are got to learn about L’Oréal and the brand directly from L’Oréal managers before attempting their final solutions. The session was conducted to ensure that rather than being an academic case, students get to interact with the team, experience the products and visit the market to get a real feel of the business.