Shreyas Kulkarni

A peek into Navneet Education’s stationery brands Youva and HQ

The former is for everyone while the latter is for young workers.

Marketers of stationery brands enjoy an enviable dual advantage – their goods evoke excitement and creativity in kids and nostalgia in adults.

We (afaqs!) met Abhijit Sanyal, chief strategy officer (CSO) and official spokesperson for Youva and HQ, two of Navneet Education’s stationery brands, to understand how he goes about building them.

Youva, for starters, is a stationery brand aimed at kids and young adults. It makes notebooks, pencils, glue sticks, oil pastels, wax crayons, colour pencils, liquid colours, and sketchbooks.

The brand was launched in 2016 and is targeted to everybody from kids to parents. It underwent a brand refresh in 2020 and the new logo, Sanyal explains, stands for think and create and the nucleus one sees in the centre is the nucleus of creativity all human beings have around themselves.

Youva used to advertise on television but does not anymore because it leads to a lot of spillover and wasted money. It is now solely focused on digital and social media. “You can slice and dice by age group, by profile, by city, by geography, and that gives us far more bang for the buck,” remarks Sanyal.

Within the digital sphere, the stationery brand is focused on three platforms: Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Think ads, banners, and branded content. Youva, Sanyal says, is in the engagement stage right now.

And while it engages with its target groups online, the brand is available on e-commerce platforms and has recently launched a direct-to-consumer (D2C) website.

A peek into Navneet Education’s stationery brands Youva and HQ

Despite the pervasiveness of e-commerce websites, Sanyal believes in the effectiveness of D2C websites because a customer will first visit the brand’s website to best understand a product, and only then decide to visit an online store to buy it.

However, this act of visiting a brand’s website to better understand a product has a serious rival – influencers.

Youva has got that base covered. It, as part of its marketing strategy, engages with four types of influencers: micro, macro, artists (viewers watch them create), and tutorials.

When asked about whether micro influencers negotiate for barter or payment, “The bigger they become, the more they get into money. The smaller they are they want to just be visible,” quips Sanyal.

Youva does not have any celebrity endorsers and is satisfied with the returns it has gained from its influencers. It had Prithvi Shaw for a brief period but cut him loose after controversies started to cloud his brand image. “We were not too happy with that experience,” states Sanyal.

All the brand’s products are available across India but have a major presence in Gujarat and Maharashtra, the bastion of Navneet Education.

And while Youva looks after everybody, there is HQ that is mainly aimed at young office workers. With its line of diaries that have one aim – make you stand out from the crowd.  It, unlike Youva, has a presence on LinkedIn but is mainly aiming to create a presence. 

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