After 30 years as a Marketer, it’s easy to become cynical of clients who want to sell products or services that nobody really wants or needs. At the start of my career, I would have welcomed almost any brief. But the older I get, the more depressing it is to be asked to work on such things.

Brands have become short-sighted, focussing only on products or services that rely on agencies to convince consumers that they need them in their lives. Yet, right under almost every marketer’s nose is an underserved market desperate for support, and therefore, desperate to buy. It’s a market with 48 different ‘needs’ for 48 different symptoms, most of which have very little awareness, understanding, and are not being catered for in products or services. And a market that has over 13 million UK consumers, and 1 billion consumers worldwide, all demanding solutions.

Now, let’s take a moment to pause and note that the vegan market, representing just 2% of the UK population, is readily targeted by brands and retailers and has its own aisle in most major multiples.

So, who am I talking about? The answer: the perimenopausal and menopausal woman. She’s often scared, confused and desperate for education and help. She has 48 potential symptoms associated with menopause, of which only three are openly discussed. And she’s arguably the largest untapped market on earth who has been overlooked and made to feel invisible.

It’s times like this when I feel both disappointed and critical of marketers and brands. The world must do better, so we much do better. Rather than inventing product after product that nobody really needs, and agencies creating incredible work to make people want it, why aren’t we seizing an opportunity so big that it could give us all endless work and transformational growth?

I struggle to think of a client who wouldn’t benefit from the commercial opportunities in and amongst the 48 symptoms of the menopause. From beauty and vitamins to education and textiles, 13 million menopausal women are crying out for brands to support them with non-medical alternatives to HRT. In fact, 97% of menopausal women believe brands should work harder to cater for the menopause, and I strongly agree.

Given the numbers, why is this colossal market force being ignored and underestimated? Society has spent years dismissing the menopause as something to deny, fear and eradicate. It remains a social taboo, and there is still a great deal of stigma to dismantle, so it’s no wonder many women feel totally unprepared for this natural transition.

But all this didn’t stand in the way of friends Heather Jackson and Sam Simister who, out of personal experiences, founded a new kind of organisation called GEN M.

Heather and Sam approached me to help them unite responsible brands and employers to improve the menopause experience, normalise the conversation, and end the injustices towards menopausal women, both inside and outside the workplace. In this way, GEN M aims to empower women to enter this pivotal time in their lives feeling supported, educated and without fear.

I didn’t hesitate to help. It made perfect sense. I’m in – and so most of Propaganda’s clients in one way or another.

The first 48 Founding Partner brands of GEN M, named in honour of the 48 symptoms of the menopause, will sign a 5-point GEN M Pledge, which involves being a voice for change and better representing menopausal women in their products, services, marketing activity and workplace policies. Since our work with GEN M, Heather and Sam have already onboarded over 20 major brands, including M&S, Always Discreet, Boots and Bravissimo.

How cool is it to actually do something that will make a positive difference? And I applaud GEN M for having the foresight and passion for instigating meaningful change. We needed to be forthright in asking brands to monetise the menopause, For ALL the right reasons.

If you’re interested in your brand becoming part of Gen M (they are naming their first 48 partners “founding partners” and currently have secured 34 brands – so time is running out!) then please reach out to myself, Heather or Sam.