Written By: Ameerah Shakoor, Copy Editor – Summer; Edited By: Will Fuller, Executive Managing Editor
Three Howard University students were selected to participate in the prestigious world finals for an annual global business competition by one of the nation’s largest beauty retailers, L’Oreal.
Jordan Roper, Jordan Culpepper and Malik Mbaye, who comprised of the Howard Team, were selected as U.S. National Winners of the L’Oreal USA Brand Challenge April 7 in New York City. The students competed against seven teams to be selected as one of nine representatives, from Canada, Central America, South America and the U.S., to participate in L’Oréal’s Brandstorm World Finals June 15 in Paris. Each year, 15,000 students take up the challenge, according to L’Oréal’s website.
The L’Oréal USA challenge differed from previous years, considering that the program included two different challenges: a Brand Challenge and Tech Challenge. The Howard Team was recognized as U.S. winners of the Brand Challenge, enabling them to attend the company’s world finals.
While the students weren’t selected as winners of the L’Oréal’s Brandstorm World Finals, they were happy to be selected as U.S. National Winners of the company’s USA competition. Roper believes the knowledge the group gained from the Howard University School of Business allowed them to thrive in the marketing-focused competition.
“We were three non-marketing majors competing in a marketing competition that beat out schools across the continent,” said Roper, a senior accounting major. “We definitely applied our experiences as school of business majors, which helped us craft our presentations and little details that got us as far we did.”
Incepted 25 years ago and presented to L’Oréal executives, the Brandstorm competition allows undergraduate and graduate students from across the globe to challenge themselves by developing a comprehensive marketing campaign for a top L’Oréal brand.
This year’s competition focused on the company’s L’Oréal Paris Men Expert product line, according to L’Oréal’s website. Each three-person team was challenged to create and market a product geared toward multicultural men.
“Explaining a product that is geared toward multicultural men to a French person or a non-POC (person of color) is extremely difficult,” said Jordan Culpepper, a senior international business major. “This is where our communications skills helped. Not only did we have to convince you that the multicultural male market was worth investing in, but we also had to prove our product was worth investing in as well.”