After having made Brandstorm into one of the world’s major competitions for students with over 95,000 participants from more than 58 countries in 25 years, L'Oréal is reinventing the concept by transforming its business game into an innovation incubator for talents and projects. The goal: enable students to go beyond living the experience of a L’Oréal employee and allow them to transform their innovative ideas into reality.
“Innovation has always been one of the strategic pillars of L'Oréal’s business model, alongside brands and talents. To overcome its new challenges and to attract the best talents, L’Oréal is reinventing its student competition Brandstorm. We’d like to further open up our competition, especially to engineering and technology profiles that are truly important for a company dedicated to innovation”, says Jean-Claude Le Grand, L’Oréal’s Director of International Human Resources Development and Corporate Diversity. In order to attract innovators from all majors, L'Oréal now proposes two challenges: a Brand Challenge for business profiles and a Tech Challenge for engineers and tech profiles. For both challenges, an additional CSR Trophy will be awarded to the team who comes up with the most sustainable idea.
For this very first edition, the participants’ mission is to come up with innovations that "disrupt men’s grooming", for the featured brand L'Oréal Paris Men Expert.
A talent and project incubator
L'Oréal is committed to providing participants with educational resources and dedicated to developing their personal and professional skills. But the Group is going even further by taking on the role of incubator to help them bring their projects to life. “Up to now, the challenge always addressed to a real issue within the Group and students’ ideas could inspire us. But we did not dedicate ourselves to implementing them. Today, beyond the analysis of proposals and their feasibility, our goal is really to become an incubator in the sense that we commit to making the most disruptive ideas a reality”, says Carole Pasco-Domergue, L’Oréal’s Employer Branding Director.
Students exhibit and pitch their projects at the “Innovation Fair”
L’Oréal is introducing a whole new selection mode that is the complete opposite of a classic presentation in front of the jury. On 15th June 2017, L'Oréal will host its first Innovation Fair in Paris where regional finalist students will become exhibitors. Based off of the tech fair model, young innovators have the opportunity to "pitch their projects" and convince the juries as they move around the fair. The juries are composed of brand experts such as L’Oreal executives and specialized journalists. In total, this new concept is expected to increase the number of participants from 15,000 in 2016 to 20,000 students in 2017.