Every year, the same old homework diary. Even as far back as 1990, Stefan Klingberg and Andy Reiter, who were attending school at the time, were bored by this. They managed to remedy the situation by issuing their own homework diary, which soon caused a sensation at their school and then even beyond their home town Munich. The former student newspaper publishers founded Häfft-Verlag GmbH and are now its managing directors.
In our 3-question interview, Stefan Klingberg tells us how they help not only schoolchildren to overcome the stress of everyday life.
1) The Häfft-Verlag publishing company has a founding history that is almost like something from Silicon Valley: it was a long journey from the idea of the two founders, who were pupils doing mathematics lessons in 1990, to one of the most popular homework diaries in Germany. Did you ever suspect that the "Häfft" would become a cult product in Germany?
(He laughs) No, of course not. How could I, a naïve 14-year-old pupil, ever imagine such a thing? Andy and I were very idealistic and we just didn't want to accept that, every year, we got the same old boring and lacklustre homework diary from some textbook publisher.
2) Who in your company is responsible for the creative ideas and, after 28 years, isn't it slowly getting a bit hard to find new content for the "Häfft"?
The responsibilities of the two Häfft founders have changed steadily over the years. These days, we have a young editorial team that has the honourable task of coming up with content that's fun and cool. We, the "old hands", who now have children of our own, come across as far too educational – no teenager would go for that. What's more, the youngsters of today have been very much influenced by the digital age, which means that the attention span for topics that are relevant to today's teenagers is much shorter than in the past. What never changes, however, is the desire for a bit of relaxation with a funny drawing or a cool saying!
3) Besides the homework diaries, you now also sell calendars and planners for students, adults and families. To what extent do the requirements of the individual target groups differ?
One clear trend can be observed among all target groups: the users of printed calendars these days want, above all, clarity and transparency. In terms of content, on the other hand, we naturally offer the various user groups tailor-made content – from the elementary school pupil to the business manager and the mother of three children.
We are looking forward to Insights-X, which is the perfect prelude to the order season for us; it allows us to introduce retailers to our new calendar and planner collections for the various target groups.
The Häfft-Verlag and more than 300 stationery manufacturers and distributors will attend the Insights-X from 4 - 6 October 2018 in Nuermberg.Get your ticket now!