I work for a startup and am trying to write a sentence in a professional email along the lines of:

We can compete with other/better-known companies like Google and Amazon by appealing to the interviewee's desire to make a big impact on a company.

I'm looking for an adjective that focuses more on the fact that people think that another company is better rather than on the fact that the other company is simply better known.

  • 2
    Have a look at the answers to this question: Is there an informal term for the “best company in an industry”?.
    – Lawrence
    Mar 14 '16 at 5:37
  • Good comment. I'm going to keep the question open though because I do think that there is a subtlety regarding public perceptions, rather than any inherent superiority, that doesn't exist in the other question.
    – entpnerd
    Mar 14 '16 at 5:46
  • I edited your post and please see if it is OK.
    – user140086
    Mar 14 '16 at 6:10
  • I already saw it and I think that it's definitely an improvement over my original question. Thanks!
    – entpnerd
    Mar 14 '16 at 6:14
  • My pleasure. Single-word-request and phrase (idiom)-request are quite popular here. Please try to tag them when you ask a question in the future. Good luck!
    – user140086
    Mar 14 '16 at 6:19

We can compete with name brands.

The meaning varies somewhat with the context, but I think it's generally in line with what you're looking for, plus it's very succinct and easily understood by most people.

Alternatively, you could write something like "We can outcompete name brands."


Perhaps you could refer to your well-known commercial reference-points using terms that are ostensibly deferential but also potentially loaded, such as






In each case your succinct implicit message would be something like, ‘Think of these outfits, known to everyone. Of course, they do very well what everyone knows they do, but we can serve you at least as well and probably better [for this reason...].’

In a slightly different or complementary approach, you might achieve something similar more proactively by portraying your own organisation as being more





than the high-profile, trundling, conventional guys.


We can compete with big-name companies like Google and Amazon.



having a widespread public reputation as a leader in a specified field.

Random House

big′ name′


a recognized leader in a particular field: one of the big names in education.


big′-name`, adj.

Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary


"Popular" denotes that people make the choice and generally like it. It doesn't provide any particular comment on the quality off the choice, however, just that the masses make it.

"Preferred" is literally a reference to preferences. Formally, it ought to be paired with a subject that defined who is preferring, but people use it without to describe a general population.

"Esteemed", sans modifier, means thought of positively. This connotes a certain weight or value to whatever is preferred.

"Seductive" or "inticing", however, would imply that the company is actively drawing the people to their side. It implies (arguably denotes) that reason is not the dominant reason for the preference. Does not imply the precedence is stupid, though.

Other directions could suggest them as deceptively attractive, or as formerly valuable and people reluctant to change.

It sounds like lofty and unreachable might be the way you want to go. In that case, "the popular kids like", for an informal tone, or "tech giants", for a more formal and awed tone could work. Well, of course, "lofty giants like" would work, too.

Choices abound. It can help to narrow that down by picking primary points that must be conveyed and secondary messages that would be welcome.


Simply praising the companies, will establish that they are known to be good. Don't be verbose about it though. Also, when people talk about others, the listeners automatically associate the adjectives not only with the people mentioned, but also with the person talking (read study). Thus something like:

We compete with great companies like Google and Amazon by appealing to the interviewee's desire to make a big impact on a company.

ought to do well.


Consider regarded

  1. to look upon or think of with a particular feeling: to regard a person with favor.

  2. to have or show respect or concern for.

  3. to think highly of; esteem.


  • Would appreciate an explanation if you're going to downvote.
    – Moogle
    Mar 15 '16 at 9:31

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