Creative Agency: Leo Burnett
Complan has managed to hold its own in the Rs 1,200-crore malted beverage segment in India. Complan, which was a brand under the Glaxo umbrella, was acquired by HJ Heinz in 1995. The brand had entered India in 1964 as a ‘complete planned food’ for special needs such as convalescing adults and compensating diet deficiencies. In 1969, it was made available over the counter. In the 70s, Complan shifted its positioning to target children, given the utmost care given to their growth and development. Given the significance of milk protein in children’s growth, brand Complan was positioned as providing nutritional value for growing children, a positioning that remains till this day.
Brand Journey – A Testimony in Itself
Sundip Shah, Vice President - Marketing, Heinz India Pvt Ltd, explained, “Complan is an iconic brand in Heinz India’s portfolio that has earned the trust and goodwill of discerning Indian consumers for over four decades. Complan’s superior formulation with 23 vital nutrients and 100 per cent milk protein placed it ahead of other popular competing brands.”
According to Arvind Sharma, Chairman, Leo Burnett, “The brand’s early advertising – ‘I’m a Complan Boy, I’m a Complan Girl’, ‘He’s a growing boy’, ‘But Mummy, I’m a growing boy’ – became ingrained in national lingo and are till date heralded as iconic child advertising. The campaigns struck the right emotional chord, however, the brand felt the need to give mothers a visible expression of its growth attribute. In 2004, Complan came to own the key proposition of height, which is the physical manifestation of growth.”
Shah added, “In the last few years, Heinz has undertaken clinical trial studies to quantify the growth advantage that an average growing child receives with Complan. Based on this, the brand has recently been relaunched with a tangible and proven claim of ‘Twice as fast’ height gain due to its formulation, which contains 100 per cent milk protein and 23 vital nutrients and is currently the fastest growing brand in the category. With an 18 per cent market share (as of April 2009), Complan has set new standards in delivering nutritional benefits and has been helping children maximise their growth potential.”
Complan continues to innovate and offer unique experiences to the consumers. Strawberry flavour was a new addition to the Complan range two years back. Last year, they launched Complan Kesar Badam. The taste of Complan Kesar Badam has been a big hit across the country and has helped the brand gain shares from others. In select markets, Complan is also available in a ‘Family Lite’ variant, which can be consumed by all members of the family as it is easy to digest and does not have any added fat, cholesterol, added sugar and artificial sweeteners.
More recently, Complan’s promise of nutrition has been extended to the entire family through Complan Nutri Bowl Muesli. Packed with the goodness of oats, corn, wheat, dry fruits, nuts and 23 vital nutrients, Complan Nutri Bowl Muesli is well-positioned to reach out to health conscious families. The brand is available in three flavours – mixed fruit, crunchy and crunchy with Kesar flavour – in select markets.
The most recent outcome of their innovation process is the test launch of Complan Memory in July 2009 in Andhra Pradesh. Complan Memory, a nutritional milk-based health beverage containing five brain chargers in 23 vital nutrients, is claimed to help improve children’s memory. Complan Memory, thereby, claims to deliver yet another specific benefit for an important need gap felt by mothers and kids. Priced at Rs 215 for a 400 gm pack and Rs 27 for a 50 gm sachet, Complan Memory is available in chocolate flavor with Choco Badam chips and five brain chargers in 23 vital nutrients.
With strong competition from other established brands like Bournvita, Horlicks and Boost, Complan has been constantly introducing new variants to cater to specific nutritional requirements.
What’s your take?
Anil Nair, President, Law & Kenneth
“Complan as a brand has managed to keep their relevance over generations but has not
managed to move to an advantageous position vis a vis competition. Their Achilles heel being the South India which is a big market. Horlicks is a cult brand in Tamil Nadu. Besides, Horlicks has successfully launched many brand extensions. Complan is limited by its own conservatism. Somehow I get a feeling that it has not grown emotionally. It is a bit transactional in its approach.”