What does it mean for something to be “white label”?
Some companies manufacture products to sell to distributers or marketers, with the express intent of allowing those distributors and marketers to put their own brand name on it instead of the name of the original manufacturer. The product is then said to be “white label”, as in “blank label”, as in “We sell you this product with a blank label so you may claim it as your own brand.”
The concept is not new. Supermarkets have done it for years, with their “store brand” lines that were, in fact, made by a company that quite probably distributes similar (if not the same) products to other stores under the same kind of arrangement. But in the brave new online world, white label platforms and products have found an even healthier growth medium in Internet marketing.
White label email marketing software, for example, allows marketing companies to offer their clients comprehensive marketing solutions, from services to support to software, all under one roof. SEO companies and web hosting services regularly sell their services to people who then sell those services to their clients. And white label platforms are often used in “daily deal” programs, where a company can offer frequent bargains to their customer base without needing to hire an entirely separate division to oversee it.
Think of a cleaning service. If you hire people to come and clean your home, you probably could care less what brand of vacuum they use, as long as it is good enough to get the job done. In the world of cleaning services, the brand of vacuum may be well known and respected, but in the eyes of the client, the house is clean because the cleaning service did a great job, and that is all they need to know to keep hiring them again and again.
White label platforms and services may seem like a complicated way of doing business, but in truth, they allow marketing companies to focus on helping their clients reach the right audience, rather than forcing either the marketers to all learn highly technical and specialized skills, or the clients themselves to do the leg work to find each specialist and service provider. Everyone plays to their strengths, and the whole process is much stronger for it.