Brands and their key for unlocking the menopause opportunity

22 June 2022
tom lees

Brand Strategy Consultant

It is estimated that there are around 13 million peri or menopausal women in the UK. Equivalent to a third of the entire UK female population this is a number that cannot be ignored. Thanks to the work of public figures like Davina McCall, Jenny Éclair and Nicola Sturgeon, we are beginning to see awareness for the menopause grow. 

As awareness grows, so too must understanding. Understanding that empowers brands, businesses and greater society to better address this underserved segment of the population whilst also providing the understanding that avoids the pitfalls of getting it wrong!

In March of this year, Kantar blended search analytics with survey data to uncovering deep understanding of the needs, attitudes, feelings and behaviours of these 13million women.
Described by our partner, Lesley Salem at Over the Bloody Moon, as “the most comprehensive study in this space” what we’ve found is impactful, exciting and full of opportunity. 

There is no ‘one’ menopause

Menopause symptoms are wide-ranging and very individual. On average, women experience 6 symptoms during the menopause, rising to 9.5 symptoms for those who have the most unbearable or severe symptoms. 
These symptoms don’t just impact them physically, they impact them mentally too. At home and at work, the knock-on effects of menopause are being felt across all areas of their lives, with half of women saying difficulty sleeping is their most impactful symptom, exasperated by night sweats and/or anxiety.

“Be prepared and tell close family and loved ones that you will be depressed or moody and irritable” we heard one respondent women say.
‘Get ready not to sleep through the night for the next 2-4 years’ another

The opportunity

With such a broad variety of symptoms and daily impacts, it is not surprising that our study revealed a variety of different segments that exist – each with differing attitudes, experiences and behaviours.  

Key aspects that set them apart are their varying degrees into how equipped they feel and the level of impact the menopause has on their lives. With such a strong correlation between ‘equipped-ness’ and ‘impact’ it comes as no surprise that women are actively seeking solutions from across their life that will help to lessen the impact. 

As the physical impacts like lack of sleep and hot flushes create a ripple effect through their lives, these women are often starting the journey alone and with a lack of support. This is seeing nearly half of women searching the internet as their first response, with a further 81% seeking information themselves before consulting an expert.

When they do talk to the expert and find the leading solution, HRT, many are praising its effectiveness in making the physical and mental symptoms more bearable. However, the well documented supply issues and lack of sufficient GP education continues to create barriers meaning that menopausal women are actively seeking other solutions.

Behaviour change is dramatic, with three quarters of women making changes to their life at this time, from cutting down alcohol to improving sleep management, eating healthier to exercising. 

But there is a gap between supply of solutions and demand, with 76% don’t feel they are represented by brands at all and a further 68% feel brands and companies don’t do enough to offer services and products specific to menopausal needs. 

From uncovering opportunity areas for innovation to the emotive territories in which a brand should communicate, our study has been able to uncover the multitude of opportunities for brands to raise their game in a meaningful and relevant way. Helping women navigate the menopause successfully whilst growing brand affinity.

First mover success

As this topic grows, we’re starting to see brands activate their teams to respond through the way they innovate, communicate and support women. 

From traditional healthcare and beauty brands like Pantene and Tena to clothing brands like Become, there is an opportunity for all categories to play their part. 

The challenge is to do this in a way that is authentic and avoids stereotypes.

This requires brands to take the time to truly understand this audience and its segments. Focusing on the insights that enrich relevance by answering to the needs, attitudes and behaviours that are demanding solutions. 
It is then down to the brand itself to show up authentically. Connecting to the emotive territory relevant to the brand and that of its customer, to create an expression that drives meaningful difference and customer preference.

To find out more on this study, or to see how Kantar can help your brand execute in this space please contact