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NUS to fly Singapore flag in global brand contest

28 March 2013

(From left) Yin Hong, Xiu Xian and Zaneta, the winners of the L'Oreal Brandstorm National Finals, will be representing Singapore at the International Finals in Paris

NUS undergraduates have emerged champions at the L'Oreal Brandstorm 2013 National Finals, beating 57 teams of local university peers. Team Aurora, comprising third-year business students Yeo Yin Hong, Zaneta Tan and Fang Xiuxian, will be flying to Paris to represent Singapore for the International Finals on 20 June 2013 where they will vie against teams from 45 other countries.

One of the most prominent marketing business games globally, L'Oreal Brandstorm requires participants to create a workable business strategy with real-life scenarios over several months.

This year's competition saw contestants taking on the role of Head of the ASEAN L'Oreal Paris Hub to develop and market a new product for L'Oreal Paris. This involved the creation of a product concept, design packaging, service model and distribution channels. At the same time, participants had to recognise the competition and establish consumer expectations, needs, usage habits and trends.

An authentic business simulation environment was provided where the students worked with an advertising agency and key figures in the industry, while being mentored by L'Oreal's management team. The judges were won over by Team Aurora's proposition of a scalp treatment range named Paradis Scalp Care which offers an exfoliating gel and a scalp essence.

Team member Zaneta shared that the trio started the first league of the competition in different parts of the world as they were all on student exchange programmes. "Xiu Xian and Yin Hong were in Connecticut while I was in Toronto, so we had to use the video chatting application oovoo for all our meetings. It was tough, but I'm glad we pulled through."

She admitted that the experience had been grueling, where countless nights were spent refining the business ideas. "But I'm glad we persevered, and we're all extremely excited to see our hard work pay off," she said. "We went into the National finals completely confident with our product concept and marketing idea. I guess the judges saw our unity and how much we had prepared and contemplated, to end up with our final proposals."

Mr Christopher Neo, Managing Director of L'Oreal Singapore, noted that the competition exposes youths to global ideas where they are challenged to come up with creative ideas, and translate these into innovative products. In the process, the students are encouraged to take ownership of their ideas from conceptualisation to the marketing of their product.

L'Oreal Brandstorm also enables the company to identify talented undergraduates. Since 2002, 22 students from the contest have been recruited under the Management Trainee programme at L'Oreal Singapore.