Ok, so the key to success is NOT actually brand communications—at least not on its own. However, brand communications can play a very critical role, here's why:
The most successful startups are often those that make low-risk moves with big reward opportunities. This is the strategic approach in almost every single financial institution, and it works most of the time when done with intelligence and the right people.
So here's where brand communications come in: Nothing could more of a low-risk move than communications. When working on updating, improving or clarifying your brand messaging, naming, slogans, campaigns or corporate copy, it's almost impossible to make things WORSE. The investment required to analyze, research, and update communications across your entire brand is tiny when compared to the huge investments necessary to keep most startups moving forward with momentum, and yet the reward opportunity is massive. How so, you ask?
Consider this, If potential customers—due to poor brand communications—can't understand what your startup does, why it matters, or what to do about it, then they won't become your customers, period. There's something even more detrimental that won't happen as well—word of mouth. Word of mouth is now invaluable to brands and startups seeking investment and attention. If people aren't talking about you, then nobody cares, and your business won't grow.
Here's something even scarier: If you're brand communications—I'm talking about your website intro copy, company introduction, and sales presentations—is especially bad, then people WILL talk about it. But not in a good way.
So there you go. If you want a low risk, high reward way to invest in your startup success, start looking into brand communications. Find a professional, not an intern, and begin improving the writing, copy, messaging, communications (or whatever else you want to call it) and watch how much it contributes to your momentum and success.
Further Reading: Check out the article below by my friend and co-worker Madeleine Work that details some of what goes into extensive communications for large brands—in this case ECOVE, the largest environmental services provider in Taiwan. It's worth Taking a look, to learn more on how very large companies like ECOVE have leveraged communications to completely overhaul their image and shift directions internationally.