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How would you describe a company that has achieved mastery in a particular field?

I feel that, even though 'master' gets the message through, it doesn't work very well in a business context.

I'm searching for a meaning like 'established', but I would prefer a noun so that it has a marketing feel to it, to be able to form sort phrases that sound good, like what I try to achieve in the examples below.

The focus has to be on the know-how and applications, not on the pioneering/ leading/ innovation side of things.

Example sentences:

This company is a 'Master' of Consulting.

Microsoft is a software 'Master'.

English is my second language so your perspective is crucial! Any suggestions or insights you may have will be of great help.

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  • In terms of naming or describing a business, "master" is a bit pretentious. The term should be reserved for credentialed individuals: "master carpenter", "master plumber", etc. – Hot Licks Jun 10 '16 at 17:15
  • One term would be brand leaders. Branding is what successful long-established businesses are known for. – Phil Sweet Jun 10 '16 at 19:53
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Market Leader the interpretation is pretty straightforward: within their market, consulting or software, they are the have the largest market share.

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Maybe dominant

1 a : commanding, controlling, or prevailing over all others < the dominant culture >

b : very important, powerful, or successful < a dominant theme > < a dominant industry >

Merriam-Webster

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How about 'first-rate':

1. excellent; superb.

2. of the highest rank, rate, or class.

Using it in your example sentences:

This company is first-rate at consulting.

Microsoft is a first-rate software company.

Another option may be 'world-class' but this is slightly more informal and self-aggrandizing than the former (although perfectly suitable when describing a Goliath such as Microsoft).

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Master is actually an appropriate word for certain types of businesses, eg Master Locksmiths, Master Milliner. More generic terms that can be applied to almost any commercial enterprise are:

Experts

having or showing special skill or knowledge because of what you have been taught or what you have experienced - Merriam-Webster.com

eg IT Experts

Specialists

a person who has special knowledge and skill relating to a particular job, area of study, etc. - Merriam-Webster.com

eg Software Specialists

Professionals

relating to a job that requires special education, training, or skill - Merriam-Webster.com

eg Headwear Professionals

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