Vlerick team comes second in the 2014 L’Oréal Brandstorm

Hannes Spanhove, Gaëlle De Riddere and Hanne De Bauw came second in the Belgian final of the 2014 L’Oréal Brandstorm. Participation in this business game is part of the curriculum of the Masters in Marketing Management programme, which they are currently following. Initially there were 350 participants, and in the final the Vlerick team competed against six other teams from Belgian universities and business schools. The Louvain School of Management team won the first prize and will represent Belgium at the international final in Paris.

Increasing awareness of skin cancer

Every year, Brandstorm participants have to develop a product (range) for one of the L’Oréal group’s international brands. They have to convincingly present both their product development and their communications strategy to the jury of marketing professionals. The Vlerick team spent the final six months in the run-up to the final working closely with Vlerick professor Marion Debruyne, as well as with L'Oréal. They were able to give their creativity free rein, and were given the opportunity to present their concept to professionals who gave them instructive feedback.

This year, the students’ assignment was to imagine being the International Marketing Director of Kiehl’s, and to develop the men’s range in line with the values of this trendy, urban brand. Hannes, Gaëlle and Hanne developed two products with which they wanted to raise men’s awareness of the dangers of skin cancer. This disease is common in men, but unlike women, they are less concerned about protecting their skin from the sun. The Vlerick team devised a shower gel that stimulates the skin’s melanin production and that contains adaptable SPF so you don’t have to worry anymore about which factor to use. The protective shower gel is combined with a wristband that informs the user about the level of UV radiation during the day. When the blue wristband turns orange or red, the in-built dispenser gives you the right quantity of cream, which you can apply immediately.

Career leap

For L’Oréal, the Brandstorm has proved an innovative recruitment tool since 1992, as the competition encourages young people to achieve their potential, develop their professional skills and discover career opportunities. “Every year we are surprised at the outstanding level of all the participants. All the students had analysed the market from A to Z, incorporated the instructions, and developed a wide range of innovative products”, said Werner Hirschi, General Manager L’Oréal Luxe Benelux.

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