Traditionally, white-labelling is a way of rebranding a product or service sold by one company, for the customers and end-users of another one.
A real-world example of white-labelling can be found in the aviation industry. Boeing is one of the world’s biggest aircraft manufacturers, delivering 668 planes to the industry in 2016, and 762 the year before. These planes are purchased by companies like Qantas and British Airways who rebrand them with the appropriate logos and colours, both internally and externally. Not only are the planes physically changed, but key differentiators in service are also achieved by the brand through staff interaction, quality of food and of course the travel freebies. This is just one example but white-labelling also works well for everything from insurance offerings to websites.
There are a number of benefits of white-labelling; it reduces your time to market, prevents you from making mistakes and it saves you a huge amount of time and resources on developing something that may already exist. So, naturally businesses are asking: “Do we make? Or do we buy?”
There is, however, another option: partnership. Today, white-labelling has evolved beyond the simple purchase and rebranding of out of the box products. More frequently, we are seeing larger “buyer” companies forming partnerships with smaller and more agile white-label makers to continuously develop best of breed solutions for the end-user.
Here are three best practices to consider before taking the leap into white-labelling:
1. Know your brief
Ask yourself “What am I trying to achieve?” Focus on understanding the problem you are trying to solve, the target audience you want to reach and how that engagement should happen. Whether you choose to white-label, partner or build your own solution, you should approach the task in the same way; by creating a thorough brief that will provide a clear set of goals and objectives for the task at hand.
2. Consider the costs
It’s easy to think that if you keep tasks in-house, you will reduce costs. However, this is not always the case, especially when considering the expertise, financial backing and time that goes on behind the scenes of white-label products and services. It is critical to really understand what the most economical option is, and this comes with an in-depth understanding of the core objectives of the project itself.
3. Keep partnerships in mind
If you decide to white label, consider these wise words from great Industry leaders: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
Two brains are better than one, so when considering white-labelling think about the impact a true partnership can deliver. White label companies have a wide range of experience to tap into so it makes sense to work together to drive true innovation.
With its ability to quickly and easily add new capabilities to a business’ portfolio, there is no doubt that white-labelling is here to stay. Instead of stretching teams far away from their core competencies, white-labelling allows us to bridge any gaps in expertise and ultimately deliver better results. Not only do businesses everywhere seek competitive advantage, but they also want the time to focus on their end goals and their end users. White-labelling, especially through true partnership, provides this advantage.
About the author:
Stephane Ibos is CEO and co-founder of Australian-born global start-up Maestrano – a cloud-based business management platform launched in 2014. He was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2015 and a member of the Australian delegation at the Entrepreneurs G20 in 2014 and 2015. He has previously written for Dynamic Business and was featured in the articles A unique approach: tech start-up Maestrano partners with big players to reach SMEs and “We’re bringing the cloud to SMEs – for real”: Maestro’s CEO on levelling the playing field.