SMEers Won the Second Prize in the 2023 Henkel Innovation Challenge!
Days ago, the 2023 Henkel Innovation Challenge came to a successful conclusion in Shanghai. “The Travelers”, a team composed of Yu Boyu, Wen Yuhan, Tan Yawen, and Wu Shouyu, students from the School of Management and Economics (SME), The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen (CUHK-Shenzhen), stood out and won the second prize.
The 2023 Henkel Innovation Challenge was held on a compact schedule yet in diverse forms. As one of the three giants in the world’s hairdressing, Henkel Schwarzkopf has organized the competition from three business sectors, namely, hair care, color dye, and styling, around the theme of “Beauty Maker – Inspiring New Hairdressing Here”.
The four members of “The Travelers” with different interests, skills, professional backgrounds and internship experiences worked together with a clear division of responsibilities. They broke down the tasks little by little and moved gradually towards perfection. Tan Yawen and Wu Shouyu, who majored in Global Business Management stream under the Global Business Studies Major were responsible for market analysis and product design respectively. After determining the target market and consumers’ pain points, they designed product plans and continuously perfected the details. Yu Boyu, who majored in Marketing and Communication, and Wen Yuhan, who majored in Global Business Economics , focused on environmental friendliness and the feasibility of the solution from the perspective of pain points for the beauty and hairdressing industry in sustainable development. In order to improve efficiency, the team members would jointly sort out the priorities and design a timeline at the beginning of each stage, clarify the tasks and deadlines for each member and ensure the flexibility of time arrangement and fulfilment of their responsible sections during the weekly meetings before the competition.
Professor Stella So
Associate Professor, SME, CUHK-Shenzhen
Luxury Brand Consumption, Media Research
First, I would like to congratulate the four students from “The Travelers” on winning the second prize in the 2023 Henkel Innovation Challenge! “The Travelers” brought a very creative solution in response to the difficulty of well positioning the target market, a real challenge for the competitors. They chose a relative niche track in line with the reviving tourism market and based on a specific scenario of “traveling”, targeted high-end consumer groups, and combined tailored and refined care with portable packaging to solve consumers’ pain points. Before the finals, they took the initiative to invite me to guide their plans and significantly improved their target market positioning and plans in a really short time. They made great progress yet I still hope they can do better in the feasibility of the plan. For SMEers, it was a rare experience to participate in business competitions and communicate face-to-face with executives from well-known companies. It was also an excellent opportunity to train and demonstrate their skills and gain experience in question and answer. I also hope that more SMEers can take the initiative to participate in business competitions, apply the theories in textbooks to professional practice and enjoy the competition itself while learning various skills such as building frameworks and presentation techniques.