Who Run the World? Femtech.

October 26, 2022

Aunt flow, shark week, that time of the month – there’s always been a certain shyness around talking about women’s health and related products. It’s a cultural taboo that marketing teams have echoed. For decades, the norm has been to talk around the topic, referring to “feminine hygiene” with discreet blue liquid used in sanitary pad adverts. 

The result is an industry where products and the way we advertise them has barely changed in decades. In fact, it wasn’t until 2017 when the first advert showing red blood on a sanitary pad was released by British brand Bodyform

But things are changing as the femtech sector begins to boom with new products and the inspiring female founders behind them. These brands aren’t just revolutionizing women’s products, they’re also fundamentally changing the conversation around women’s health. 


The “New Crypto”

It isn’t just a one-company success story: it’s a market with huge potential. Already valued at $51 billion USD in 2021, the global femtech market is set to double in size by 2030. 

Investors are starting to take notice. In May 2022, Pulsenmore, who make at-home ultrasound devices allowing women with a history of recurrent miscarriage to closely monitor their own pregnancy, raised $50 million USD in one funding round. Kindbody, the “Soulcycle of Fertility” secured $154.7 million and B2B fertility benefits company Carrot Fertility secured $114.2 million Series C funding. 

With public interest growing and investors responding, it’s no surprise that formidable women’s health attorney Delphine O’Rourke announced that “women’s health is the new Crypto”. 


Market Trends to Watch 

So who’s set to be the next Pulsenmore? Bodhi & Co. have been lucky enough to work with some of the rising stars in the femtech industry. Based on our insight, learnings, and experience, here are the three main areas to watch: 


  • Period Tech: 

Menstruation products were well overdue a tech makeover: tampons, for example, have been largely unchanged in design since the 1930s. With 12 billion pads and 7 billion tampons being sent to landfill each year, there’s an important focus on reducing “period pollution”. 

From Planera’s pads that dissolve when flushed down the toilet to Emm’s soon-to-be-released smart period care with monitoring capabilities (check out their website for the chance to be one of their lucky beta testers!), the new wave of femtech products are changing what women can expect from period products. 

It’s also about improving the experience of having a period. In 2019, Daye launched the first CBD-infused tampon to help relieve pain while absorbing blood. 


  • Underwear

Traditional ads for women’s underwear are more focused on… the visual rather than the physical experience of actually wearing the products. 

Enter female-founded underwear brands like Knix ready to take on a market with “too much frill and not enough function”, according to founder Joanna Griffiths. Going from market newbie to two million customers with one of the largest ever sales of a DTC company by a female founder, Knix has proven that there’s appetite for a different approach to women’s underwear. 

It’s paved the way for Draper-award-winning new market entrants like Pantee who focus on comfort and sustainability, creating their underwear from deadstock fabrics.


  • Sex-related Products and Tech

If there’s one topic that’s almost as taboo as women’s health, it’s sex; advertising condoms wasn’t even legal in the US until 1977. 

From Osé’s Robotics-Innovation-Award-winning toys to Hanx’s gynaecologist-designed vegan condoms that “champion unapologetic sexual and intimate health for everyone”,  a whole host of female entrepreneurs have set out to make changes in this traditionally male-centric market. 

Solving a range of sexual wellness challenges and limitations, sex tech products tend to share the common goal of improving accessibility and frankness around the full range of human sexual experience and pleasure. 


The Lesson for All Brands

Whatever sector you’re in, there are a few things we’ve learnt from working with femtech companies that apply to all brands. 

Whether it’s smart, less painful periods, comfortable underwear, or sex toys with biofeedback, these products all have one thing in common: their focused on user experience. 

From product design to the communications and marketing that support it, Femtech is a reminder to all companies to prioritise putting your audience first and focusing not just on how a product looks, but how it works and feels. 

It’s a reminder that consumers don’t want to be sold to – they’ve had enough of the spin, they want to understand the products they’re buying. Brands that are thriving recognise that their audience are ready for benefit-focused communications that put the audience at the heart of the brand. 

Femtech is just getting started, ushering in an era of plain talking marketing that means no topic is off limits – bring it on! 

Whether you’re a Femtech brand looking to work with a marketing partner that knows the industry or a brand looking to re-focus on audience experience, get in touch with the team at Bodhi & Co for a chat about how we can help you on your journey to becoming the next crypto.

Author Headshot

Roanna Lynch

A creative copywriter who really gets the context and company behind the campaign, Roanna helps brands express themselves in a way that’s memorable to the audiences that matter most.

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