How would you translate a flagship product, so the best product of a company, as in

Paint is the flagship product of Microsoft. [Just an example...]

I could say

Paint ist das beste Produkt von Microsoft.


Paint ist das erfolgreichste Produkt von Microsoft.

But is there any word for flagship? Maybe something like

Paint ist das Hauptprodukt von Microsoft.

Would that work? Or is there a better translation I didn't think about?


4 Answers 4


You can always use Vorzeigeprodukt and sometimes just Flaggschiff. Aushängeschild would be another variant.

Examples for the use of Flaggschiff from Wiktionary and Wikipedia:

Nachrichten-Flaggschiff der ARD ist die 20-Uhr-Tagesschau
Die Großraumlimousine X-12 ist das neue Flaggschiff des Automobilherstellers.

Or this headline from the "Handelsblatt": Was das überarbeitete BMW-Flaggschiff zu bieten hat

Examples for Vorzeigeprodukt:

Die Microsoft Corp. ist mit seinem Vorzeigeprodukt Windows der führende Hersteller von PC-Betriebssystemen. Source
Heckler & Koch kämpft um seinen Ruf ... Sein Vorzeigeprodukt, das Gewehr G36, soll deutlich schlechter schießen als die Konkurrenz. Quelle
Das Vorzeigeprodukt des amerikanischen Herstellers Apple [gemeint ist das iPhone] bekommt immer stärkere Konkurrenz. Quelle
Als Premiere stellt BMW die extrem sparsame Variante 320d Efficient Dynamics als Limousine und Kombi vor. Die beiden Spritsparer sind damit die neuen Vorzeigeprodukte der bislang schon recht glaubwürdigen Ökologie-Kampagne unter dem Namen Efficient Dynamics. Quelle
Das rasante Wachstum des Elektronikkonzerns [Apple] reicht der Wall Street nicht. ... Und mit seinem Vorzeigeprodukt iPhone steht der Konzern vor einer großen Herausforderung. Quelle


In decreasing order of likeliness:

  • Aushängeschild ‘frontside sign’ – everyone knows the company for this product and it must not be screwed up under any circumstances
  • Vorzeigeprodukt ‘demonstration product’ – state of the art, cool, creates many wows and uhs, but often isn’t really ready for shipping yet; what you show off at trade fairs and gets featured in glossy magazines. Can also be used in the sense of exemplifying the company’s values.
  • Kernprodukt ‘core product’ – what the company got big with, but not really the hippest one in their portfolio
  • Hauptprodukt ‘main product’ – either the most profitable cash cow or the best selling product or both at the same time
  • Markenzeichen ‘brand icon’ – often means a typical (design) feature or even a logo, but can also be used for product best exemplifying the brand’s virtues (not to be confused with Warenzeichen ’trademark‘)
  • Gesicht/Herz/Seele der Marke ‘face/heart/soul of the brand_
  • [praktisch/quasi/nahezu] synonym mit der Marke/Firma – if you think of the product you know the brand and vice versa, although it’s often not the only one offered
  • 1
    I strongly disagree with "Vorzeigeprodukt" as being "isn't really ready for shipping". See here and here for examples.
    – Matthias
    Jun 21, 2016 at 19:14
  • @Matthias didn’t quote “often”. It is certainly not a requirement, but a nuance that, in comparison, Aushängeschild and Flaggschiff usually do not have. It can also be a product that is readily available in stores but too expensive or for other reasons unattainable for most people, e.g. because it may be morally/ecologically the best choice but subjective desires favor a certain feature of a different product (“mo’ power! ruffruff”).
    – Crissov
    Jun 21, 2016 at 19:56
  • Do you have sources where Vorzeigeprodukt is used in the "shown at trade fairs sense"? I didn't come across any when I googled for that word, but maybe I missed something. "too expensive or for other reasons unattainable for most people" can apply IMHO to both Vorzeigeprodukt and flagship product.
    – Matthias
    Jun 21, 2016 at 20:14

A flagship is not necessarily the companies best, most successful or principal product. It is just the product that one thinks of when one hears a company’s name. That’s why suggestions such as beste, erfolgreichste or haupt- fail to adequately translate flagship.

Quite literally, the flagship is a Flaggschiff which is also used in the sense of flagship product, not just in its naval meaning. Apart from that, Aushängeschild is probably the best word that fits the intended meaning.

  • flagship: the biggest, most important, or best thing in a group MacMillan Dictionary And "the product that one thinks of when one hears a company’s name" - this would make the Golf VW's flagship product. I don't think they would agree in Wolfsburg.
    – Matthias
    Jun 21, 2016 at 19:43
  • 1
    @Matthias They wouldn’t?
    – Jan
    Jun 21, 2016 at 19:49
  • Well, maybe they would. It was too late to remove this second sentence from my comment. But I'd rather expect them to see the Phaeton as their flagship. But now that they stopped it's production - who know's. Anyway, what I wanted to say: "topf of mind" is not the same as flagship.
    – Matthias
    Jun 21, 2016 at 19:55
  • Haven't found anything clear about the VW brand, but for Skoda, there are a couple of publications like this where they denote the Skoda Superb as the brand's flagship. But the model that I think of when I hear "Skoda" is the Fabia - or even the S100.
    – Matthias
    Jun 21, 2016 at 20:08
  • I don't think that it's the product people think of. For example, phone manufacturers release a or several flagship(s) every year. You can then read articles like "Huawei veröffentliche sein neues Flagschiff.", "Sony brachte mehrere Flaggschiffe im letzten Jahr raus.". And it's not always of the same series. It's just kind of a recent product which is considered to be outstanding.
    – Em1
    Jun 22, 2016 at 9:08

See following examples I've written for you:

Paint ist das (or: "gilt als") Flaggschiff der Softwarefirma Microsoft.

Paint, das Flaggschiff aus dem Hause Microsoft, ...

Microsoft's Flaggschiff Paint ...

Mit der Software Paint hat Microsoft ein Flaggschiff für die intuitive Bildbearbeitung entwickelt.

  • 1
    Bold style isn't necessary here, really. However, +1 for just suggesting "Flaggschiff". That's the best option.
    – Em1
    Jun 22, 2016 at 9:00

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