American Univesity of Beirut

Marketing students design hair salon of the future

OSB marketing student team composed of Nadine Bourji, Dalia Hneidi, and Yara Hoballah and coached by instructor Leila Khauli won the national competition of L'Oréal Brandstorm 2018 and went on to represent Lebanon at the international finals in Paris, France.

The 26th edition of Brandstorm, which ended May 17 at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, brought together 34,700 students for an ambitious global challenge – to invent the professional hair salon experience of the future.

“It was a real shocker when we got selected for Paris because we didn't know what to expect in terms of the intensity of the competition. The experience was fun and the competition went so smoothly," said team member Hneidi, encouraging other students “not to be afraid to put yourself out there because you never know what the outcome will be and it may surprise you as it did us." 

Hoballah, a member of OSB team added, “the competition really challenged us to think outside the box and go beyond the limit. We never imagined ourselves reaching this stage and it is really a proud moment for all of AUB-OSB."

The team proposed an innovative hair salon experience where customers have a fully integrated mobile control to plan their salon visit before arriving for an appointment. The experience also includes specially designed salon chairs called Pod, an egg-shaped 180-degree seat that can be adjusted based on temperature, lighting and includes even around-the-clock entertainment and cellphone mirroring.

The Brandstorm concept is popular among students around the world because of the resources provided by L'Oréal – nearly 80 hours of e-learning, along with individual support from L'Oréal experts or external partners. "As a participant in the L'Oréal Brandstorm competition I learned many things that will always remain with me, including how to work in a team, how to think outside the box, and how to manage stress and hard work," explains Bourji, saying that after winning the national competition in Lebanon she started to believe herself. “This experience taught me that confidence and creativity is key to everything. As I was coached by one of the most inspiring women in AUB Leila Khauli, I believe I came out of Brandstorm a more open, flexible, team-oriented, confident, and creative person."

Every year, L'Oréal enhances its longstanding business game in terms of innovation and entrepreneurship, while the fun aspect of the event gives the world leader in cosmetics a chance to identify and test the abilities of talented young people.

“It was a wonderful learning experience where students applied textbook theory to real life innovative experience and they got to practice their communication skills and most importantly, to learn from peers like us," said Khauli, who has coached 2014, 2015, 2016 and now 2018 national champion teams.   

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