Rosetta Stone can be qualified as a Hidden Champion according to criteria presented in A “ Hidden Champions of the 21 Century”, even though the level of public awareness about the company was approximately 74-79%, based on general population surveys. Even though the company is not “hidden”, but it is a “ champion” on the market of language- learning programs, and their success can be easily attributed to fulfillment of Hidden Champions characteristics.
Lesson 1- Ambitious goals. The general rule for starting the business is an ambitious vision and the goal to become the market leader . Rosetta Stone started as a family business, and was driven by Stolzfus’s and Eugene’s idea of offering the best language learning solution. They believed they will succeed, and were not afraid to invest in an expensive irrevocable license, which helped them to offer the highest quality program with a feature not available to their competitors. According to first lesson of “ Hidden Champions of the Twenty First Century” the hidden champion is a company which is the number one or two in the global market based on its market share. Rosetta Stone’s market share is just 8 % (calculation is based on the industry revenue from self-study options of language learning industry), but the company sells products in 30 languages in 150 countries, and is the only publicly hold language learning program. . To recognize the market leader in a certain industry the market has to be clearly defined. Rosetta Stones operates in a learning software industry in a language self-study market. For Rosetta Stones to “ increase” the market share it has to narrow it down. To facilitate growth the company is developing its international business through subsidiaries, which results in a higher international presence, and higher revenues. At the same time, the high market share itself is not enough to be classified as a hidden champion. Market leadership is more than just market share, the more...
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