Originality is key, as is offering what your customers’ hearts desire. As is being specialized in something and focussing on what you’re good at. But what if those things don’t overlap?
What if the key to growing your business is adding another product or service to your assortment, but you don’t have the knowledge, resources, or time to do it?
In come white-label products and services. Thanks to them, you don’t have to disappoint your customers by having to sell them a ‘no,’ and you don’t have to make significant changes in your business to keep delivering fantastic service.
Let’s look at how you can use white-label products to build your brand and grow your business — without losing your originality.
What is a white-label product even?
The name says a lot about what they are: imagine a product being made, say shampoo. Now, let’s be honest: not every shampoo brand makes their coconut shampoo; there are hundreds out there.
So, they buy their bottles of coconut bliss from a producer who solely makes unbranded bottles of shampoo — with a white label. After that, every buyer is free to stick to their branding and resell it to the end consumers.
That’s what white-label products and services are in a nutshell: unbranded products or services that are passed on to a reseller who can brand the product as their own. Often the end consumer doesn’t even know that what they are buying is white-label products — if the reseller is doing it right, that is.
What are white-label services, then?
But it can be much more complicated than sticking a new sticker on a bottle. Even online, services can be rebranded and sold as “your own.”
For products, it’s probably easy to imagine all kinds of white-label products. But over the years, white-label services have also entered the market. In this case, company A works for the clients of company B while appearing to be part of Company B — which they’re not.
White-label services can be sold to end consumers as well as businesses. Common services that are being sold and rebranded are Search Engine Optimization services, web development — for instance, WordPress, Shopify services, or social media management. But the list is endless.
Why would you use a white-label product or service?
When growing your business, you might find that more and more of your clients are asking for additional services or products. Unless your strategy is to stay focused on one specific thing, you might want to consider expanding whatever it is you have to offer.
But what if you lack the expertise, manpower, or money to start producing out of your usual range of services? You find a reliable white-label partner who does it for you. All you need to do is make sure your branding covers it up completely.
It doesn’t have to be a completely new service or product: you can use white-label products and services to complete part of your services as well. For instance, if you’re an agency that works on web development, you can use a white-label SEO service to cover that part of website building.
When picking a white-label product or service, make sure it makes sense: don’t use your brand’s name and reputation to start selling something that’s entirely out of your comfort zone, just because it seems profitable. In that case, you should consider starting a new brand.
How a white-label helps you grow your brand
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits white-label products and services offer while trying to grow your brand.
1. You get to focus on what you do best
Let’s take the example we mentioned before. Maybe you create beautiful websites, thanks to a creative designer and smart developer. Your clients find you because of your style and ability to create great-looking websites that work on every device. But all of that won’t make much sense if nobody can find those websites.
For that, you will need someone who works on findability. But a crash course in SEO for your designers doesn’t make much sense, and hiring someone full-time can be risky. In this case, it makes sense to complement your services with a white-label SEO service. It helps you and your client.
Meanwhile, your team of creatives gets to focus on their expertise and learn more in that field every day, without any distractions. This is a huge time and money saver, especially for additional services that your clients might ask for. No hiring and no training costs are needed!
2. You become a one-stop-shop
It’s easy math: adding a white-label product or service to your business might help you sell more and grow your revenue. You provide more value to your clients and save them the hassle of finding another partner for a specific yet related task. Everybody wins.
3. You learn in the process
A white-label product might only function as a springboard in the earlier phases of growing your business. While working with a white-label agency, you get to benefit from their knowledge. Now, you can let them do their thing, but if you’re smart, you choose a partnership in which you are aware of what they’re doing, and you learn from it too.
At least make sure that you are aware of the basic technical capabilities one needs to do what your white-label partner does. If you decide to hire someone to perform these services entirely in-house further down the road, you’ll know what questions to ask.
Plus, it’s never bad to be up to speed about what a partner is doing for your clients, especially if you are selling those services as your own.
How to successfully adopt a white-label service or product
You can’t build a business solely on white-labeled products or services. In this day and age, originality, a clear vision, and a brand’s personality are what make you stand out from the crowd. Creating this with other people’s services is nearly impossible.
Instead, you should see white-label products or services as a helping hand in your own business. When growing your business, brand recognition is vital. So, you’ll want that helping hand to look just like your own. Here’s how to make your white-label product or service a success.
1. Make sure your brand identity is clear
Before even considering adopting a white-label product, take a look at your current brand identity. Assess your design and the face of your brand, as well as the copy and tone of voice. Are you using it consistently across all platforms?
2. Be consistent
Treat your white-label product as one of your own when it comes to branding. Don’t feel the need to jazz it up or dress it down a little just because it’s a white-label product. Include it in your branding and website as if you had produced it yourself.
3. Choose the right white-label partner
Don’t just look at what additional service you want to offer: the partner you pick to do all of that work for you has to be just as great a fit as the product. Keep these things in mind.
Go for someone with an excellent track record, someone you find trustworthy, someone who can prove they are an expert in their field. When choosing a white-label partner, you are looking for someone to fulfill particular tasks. Make sure you get an expert on board. Check their reputation and try to find out who else they work for.
Assess the communication with the partner. Before you seal the deal, make sure you partner up with someone who offers the flexibility and open communication you need. Get informed on how their support system works and how easy it is to get in touch with them: after all, you’ll be working together closely.
Make sure this partnership aligns with your goals and vision. Even though your clients won’t know that they might be working with someone whose mission isn’t the same as yours at all, it will make your life much easier if you and your partner are on the same page. Plus, it shows integrity: don’t just pick a partner because of the price. Together, you might be able to reach your goals faster. Even though you’re ‘just’ rebranding their product, you are the one putting it on the market.
Do your processes and systems work together? This is an essential question to ask yourself before signing that contract. If their way of working intervenes with how you usually serve your clients, or if it simply does not match with your systems, keep looking. You shouldn’t need to change your whole way of working to make them fit into your business.
Double-check your contract. A white-label partnership is a big commitment and should be handled with care. Make sure your contract details things like timelines, deliverables, and communication.