Accelerators are the go-to homes for startups looking to establish themselves and grow in a safe environment. Entrepreneur First led the way, and more recently, industry leaders have emerged with dedicated accelerator programmes – here’s looking at you, Barclay’s Rise and Level 39 – to nurture the best and most innovative talent in the industry.

I recently attended a demo day hosted by NatWest’s Fintech Accelerator, where early stage fintechs outlined their solutions to problems facing consumers and businesses today.

As companies outlined their visions, it got me wondering how many would scale successfully, and what this meant for corporates already established in the industry – could any of these newcomers be the next to successfully disrupt and scale the industry? Ultimately, as more innovative companies enter a market with less and less differentiators, remaining competitive is about more than innovation, and comes down to clear, consistent, and consumer-focused communications.

With that in mind, there are a few key things corporates can do to position themselves for success against more agile startups, and ensure they don’t fall behind:

  • Consumer first, always. This always needs to be remembered: everything a brand does needs to have the consumer in mind. In an area of increasing homogeny, customer perception can be the difference between success and failure, particularly when it comes to something as important as people’s financial wellbeing.
  • Have a clear message. Having clarity of purpose is great, but what’s equally important is having the ability to communicate that purpose clearly. Audiences need to know exactly how a company benefits them and what the offering is. Investing in a business’ reputation early on – whether that’s hitting refresh on brand personality or managing existing public perception – establishes a narrative, ensures consistency, and engages with relevant audiences early on.
  • Bank on content. Creating relevant, timely content is often a challenge, and having to continually do so is near impossible. That’s why creating a content bank is crucial, particularly for companies with slow or lengthy approvals processes. By building up a reserve of content, businesses can ensure a steady stream of relevant, on-message information to keep audiences and stakeholders engaged.
  • Bring in experts. If in doubt, ask for help! Comms experts can advise on anything from media relations, content development, or digital marketing, and can even assist with developing an overall strategy that aligns with business priorities.

As accelerators continue to flourish and startups continue cropping up with fresh ideas, corporates need to get creative, remain consistent, and proceed confidently with their comms strategy.