Luxury Insight Talk: In Conversation With the Finalists of the Mark Challenge 2020

Particpants of the Luxury Insight Talk

The Mark Challenge is an annual business plan competition from the International University of Monaco dedicated to luxury passionate students and entrepreneurs. The competition is about sustainable business concepts in the luxury field that build upon strong social, environmental pillars. In 2020, two out of the four finalist teams – Kosha and ReBorn – were from Munich Business Schools, wherefrom team Kosha even won the 7th edition of the challenge.

The competition is an integral part of the master’s concentration Luxury Management, where the students can bring their learnings to life. To be well prepared for this year’s Mark Challenge, the module leader Julia Riedmeier invited last year’s two MBS finalist teams and former students of the luxury course to the Luxury Insight Talk. Bernhard Franz from team Kosha and Emna Rabai together with Pascale Ghoussainy from team ReBorn shared their business concepts, experiences and lessons learned. Further they opened up the discussion floor to answer all questions from the current students, whether practical, theoretical or personal.

The then finalists provided this year’s participants with the following key takeaways:

“Don’t be scared of criticism and make sure you pay attention to legal rights.” (Bernhard Franz)

“Use the lean business model canvas and the golden circle – Simon Sinek is the best!” (Emna Rabai)

“Take it more seriously and reach out to your network,.” (Pascale Ghoussainy)

The MBS students were able to derive important learnings from the exchange with the final teams:

  • Build your brand strategy as a digitally native vertical brand (Elif Özkök)
  • Be able to explain in one sentence what your product is about and how it is better than the others (Helen Stierle)
  • Create an idea that is feasible and “easy” to bring to life (Felix Schmitt)
  • Always start with the purpose (Yuqing Ma)
  • Seize the chance to connect with professionals, to learn a lot, and most importantly, to have fun during your project (Chun-Tzu Chen)

Furthermore, all agreed that you need to know your audience to design the message as clear and compelling as possible. The first Luxury Insight Talk was well enjoyed by all participants and motivated the students to get the best out of their ideas, as MBS student Victor Daron explains: “Meeting the finalists and winners of the Mark Challenge 2020 motivated me because hearing that a year ago they were exactly where we are now gives us hope and shows us that succeeding in such a challenge is possible with hard work. It was also inspiring to make me believe in my ideas and my creativity,.”

Another Insight Talk is planned with Catarina Capelo Moreira of the winning team Kosha, where the current students will pitch their business idea and receive feedback. Catarina Capelo Moreira will then further go into detail on e.g., the concept of personas, target markets, mock-up of product and services.

The Luxury Insight Talk is a series where students of the Luxury Management concentration in the International Business master's program can ask professional and former students in respect to career advice, personal development or course related topics.
Julia Riedmeier
About Julia Riedmeier 16 Articles
Dr. Julia Riedmeier is a strategy consultant and lecturer for Luxury Management and Market Research. As founder and managing director of CODE LUXE, a strategic consultancy for luxury brands, she works closely with company leaders. Mainly on digital and purposeful neo luxury strategies in the automotive, jewelry & watches and yachting industry. Besides her consulting activities, she holds – amongst others – the lectureship for Market Research at the International University of Monaco and the leadership of the luxury module in the International Business master‘s program at Munich Business School (MBS). A special format of her module Luxury Management is the initiative Luxury Business Dialogue, where luxury professionals share their insights and connect with future talents. Furthermore, Dr. Julia Riedmeier is a jury member of the annual Monaco-based luxury business pitching competition “The Mark Challenge” and think tank member of the digital platform on sustainable luxury “Haus von Eden”. The combination of her advisory and industry experience with academic knowledge and practices is a key benefit of her courses. Within her doctoral work, she researched on luxury brand management in times of co-creation. She studied International Business in Berlin, Munich, Shanghai and holds a master's degree from MBS. Prior, she has worked at Inlux and Hermès in communication and retail.