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The Laurea team made it to the semifinals of The Mark Challenge

The idea behind the Resonant Portrait service is a personalized musical portrait of the customer.

This winter, Laurea students participated for the first time in The Mark Challenge, an international luxury business pitching competition organized by the University of Monaco. The Laurea student team excelled in the first trials, and their competition entry was one of the 24 best ideas to qualify for the semifinals.

The semifinal team consists of Jukka-Pekka Ahvenainen and Markus Alavaikko, who are both studying for a Master's degree in Customer-oriented Service Management, and Roni Jarkko, who studies Tourism and Service Business. Their competition entry is called Resonant Portrait.

A unique, personalized piece of music

The idea behind Resonant Portrait is to create for the customer a portrait in the form of a musical composition, developed with the help of methods familiar from service design. The result is a piece of music that is always personalized and completely unique. It embraces all aspects of the person concerned: their history, tastes, and achievements.

- The final appearance of the composition depends on the customer's wishes: if they want a symphony, then we will have it played by a symphony orchestra, explains the Resonant Portrait team.

In Finland's event of The Mark Challenge, which was organized by Laurea, an experienced jury provided feedback for the team. On the basis of this, the trio has developed their idea further to be prepared for the semifinals. After the Laurea event, the original two-man team was joined by Roni Jarkko, who has long-term experience in selling luxury products.

- To make our idea look and feel even more like genuine luxury, we have extended our offer, Jarkko says.
- Now we can provide a service that appeals to all senses; in addition to music, we also offer traditional painted portraits, and even self-composed, unique perfumes.

Another aspect on which the team paid special attention when developing their idea further was the strengthening of the team's skills with the help of external experts. Professional composer, musician Karl Sinkkonen has provided support for the musical aspects, while marketing professional Sini Mäenanttila has helped with expert advice in the creation of high-standard online and social media visibility that is a must in the premium market. Additionally, the team has a legal expert at its disposal.

Unique experiences instead of material things

One of the aspects of the competition entries to be highlighted in The Mark Challenge is their impact on society. This is reflected in Resonant Portrait in that 5% of the profits go to charity. The team wants to provide children and young people of limited means with an opportunity to learn to play an instrument by donating to music institutes and conservatoires.

This year, 77 ideas from 52 universities participated in The Mark Challenge. The best of the 24 semifinalists will continue to the finals, taking place in Monaco on 17 May.

On the eve of the semifinals, the Laurea student team is full of confidence:

- What differentiates us from many other semifinalists is that we offer completely unique experiences instead of material things, the Laurea trio summarizes.
- In our idea, the luxury aspect lies in individualized service; actually, this is such a unique service that there are not many of its kind on the market.