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What Is White Labeling And Does Your Loyalty Program Need It?

September 8, 2020 Loyalty

Have you heard the terms "white label" and "white labeling"? White labeling refers to products that are built by one company and licensed out to another company in such a way that the licensee can stamp their own brand on the product, therefore passing it off as their own.

What Is White Labeling And Does Your Loyalty Program Need It?

Have you heard the terms "white label" and "white labeling"? White labeling refers to products that are built by one company and licensed out to another company in such a way that the licensee can stamp their own brand on the product, therefore passing it off as their own.

Examples of white labeling that you might be familiar with are template-based website platforms like Wix, Weebly, and SquareSpace. Instead of a company hiring a website developer to build a brand-new website, by choosing a white label platform like Wix, the company can "build" their own website using simple drag-and-drop features and the result is that they present their own brand, products, and services on the site. Customers visiting their site will never know the website is powered by the white label company Wix. The benefit for the company is that they save a lot of money by not using a web developer, and the benefit of the hosting site Wix is that they collect a monthly fee.

Another area where white labeling reigns supreme is at the popular grocery store, Trader Joe's. While you might not be aware of it, all of the "Trader Joe's brand" items are not produced by Trader Joe's at all. Rather, those organic food products are produced and bottled by other food manufacturers, and then the Trader Joe's label is placed on them for resale at the grocery store. This benefits the food manufacturers, who might never get into a grocery store on their own much less sell effectively when on the shelves, and it benefits Trader Joe's because it saves the grocery store from also having to manage farms, harvest produce, manufacture food products, and handle everything else that goes into getting products into their stores. Trader Joe's isn't the only grocery store that has white label relationships. Wal-Mart does as well. In fact, all Big Box stores do.

By now, a lightbulb may be going off over your head. If you're thinking that "white label" is an upgraded version of the business terms "outsource" and "outsourcing", you're actually right. One example of this is the professional product-based service called ghostwriting. Ghostwriting is a white label service that delivers a final product. When a celebrity, politician, or even you hire a ghostwriter, the ghostwriter will deliver a book product that they take zero credit for. Instead, the buyer, i.e. the celebrity who hired them, puts their own name on the book so that the general public believes they authored it. Sorry to burst your bubble, but Katie Couric did not write that cookbook, and neither did President Trump write his bestselling autobiography, but no one will ever be able to prove that's the case due to signed Non Disclosure Agreements.

White labeling most commonly refers to software, technology, and digital solutions, however. These white labeled software solutions are "leased", "rented", or "licensed" by the purchasing company. The company then stamps their own business brand on the software and resells it to other companies. This relationship involves three parties. The software development company, the intermediary company that licenses it for resale, and the end-company that puts their brand on the product or service to sell to the general public. The reseller could also add their own branding to the solution and sell "access" to the general public as if they developed it, as is the case with social media platforms, for example.

Yes, peeking behind the curtain to understand the relational ins-and-outs of white labeling can become quite complicated!

When it comes to white labeling, the bottom line is that by allowing the licensee company to purchase a white labeled product or service and place their own brand on it, that company is able to continue building their brand while increasing customer loyalty and trust at the same time.

Now that we've defined "white labeling" and given some examples, let's take a look at what white labeling means in business today when it comes to software and technology, and how it can help business growth. Then we'll walk you through what a white label relationship can do for your retail store via a customer loyalty rewards program.

What are the types of white label software? We've already mentioned a few, but here is the comprehensive list:

  • white label web design programs
  • white label website builders
  • white label app design programs
  • white label lead generation
  • white label social media management tools
  • white label SEO tools
  • white label PPC tools
  • white label reporting software

As you can see, white label software products and solutions cover just about every technological need a company could have. Businesses like yours can benefit from using white label software solutions because the solutions themselves ultimately help you offer far more products and services to your customer-base than you would be able to on your own had you not entered into white label relationships.

But there are downsides to using white label software, and the biggest one is that you will have less--or no--control over certain features. Why would you have less control? Because the software solution itself was built to accommodate a broad demographic of companies. It wasn't built specifically for your unique company so it won't be nuanced for your business. Whereas, if you hired a software developer directly, that professional developer could build your solutions from scratch and each would be tailor-made for your business. Another downside is that the reporting and analytics options that come with white label software solutions won't rise to the level of detail you would obviously prefer. Again, this is because the white label solution is geared towards servicing the lowest common denominator.

Despite the downsides, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. The financial savings you get when you use white labeling is not merely measurable. It's astronomical. And the ROI (return on investment) is huge because when you offer white label products and services to your customers, you are essentially broadening your catalogue. Whereas before you were only selling a limited range of products and services, now you are able to offer your customers a wider range of items. They won't have to go to another company to get those items.

Other benefits for your company include:

  • Increases brand credibility: by expanding the products & services you sell, your customers will value your brand more
  • Builds customer loyalty: once customers become hooked on the white labeled items, they will patronize your company on a more consistent, deeper level
  • Faster software launch: because the white label software solutions are pre-made, it will take you less time to get your branded version to market
  • Reduced expenses: when you avoid hiring a developer, you save a lot of money
  • Lower risks: if you license or subscribe to a white label software solution and find it isn't panning out for you, you can cancel without having invested too much money in the process

What white labeling means in business today when it comes to software and technology is expanded options for your company and your customers. It means overall growth for your business, and the cost of that growth is merely a fraction of what it would cost to hire professional developers to custom-build every software solution you're interested in.

Have you heard of white label software solutions for loyalty programs?

You have. Trust us, whether or not you know you've heard of white labeling loyalty programs, the fact of the matter is that every loyalty rewards program is a white label software product unless a retailer has hired a software developer directly to build for them all of the digital components that go along with a rewards program. Unless your company has a massive development budget, like Philip Morris, you aren't going to invest in building your own loyalty program, because it'll cost you a fortune.

However, white label software providers who have already built a customer loyalty rewards program platform that you can lease, rent, or subscribe to monthly are out there. They exist. But not all of them are created equal. Let's look at the white label software components that the best loyalty program providers on the market today offer. If you're shopping around for a customer loyalty rewards program to implement at your retail store, make sure that the software solutions include all of the components detailed below.

WHITE LABEL MOBILE APP BUILDER

Let's be clear here. Apps are everything. Consumers have long since gotten accustomed to doing just about everything through their smartphones and the customer loyalty rewards program you offer needs to be up to speed. Hiring an app developer is extremely costly, but using a white label mobile app builder is very affordable. Once you customize the white label app with your branded business name, logo, and colors, loyalty customers will never know you're using a platform. You can choose the reward program rules, how to reward members, and start offering dynamic incentives. Customers will receive push notifications containing information on special deals and that's only the beginning.

WHITE LABEL EMAIL NEWSLETTER BUILDER

Email newsletters don't have the best track record when it comes to their open rate, but that doesn't mean they don't work when they're crafted smartly and sent out to consumers at an optimal frequency. Smart email marketing is an effective way to broadcast to all customers in your reward marketing list whenever highly targeted deals are available. The key here is "targeting" the right audience for each promotion, and unless you go with a trusted white label email newsletter builder that comes with technology that allows you to carefully target your groups, you aren't going to see a very big ROI. Look for white label providers that supply pre-designed and pre-devised campaigns for you to use.

WHITE LABEL ADVERTISEMENT TEMPLATES

Just as most retailers don't have the time and budget to hire a professional app developer, they also don't have the funds to hire professional designers every time they have a new sale they'd like to advertise. With white label advertisement templates already designed as part of your customer loyalty rewards program, you simply have to drop in your business name, logo, branded colors, and the details of the loyalty sale or rewards promotion and the ad graphic will be ready to send out in minutes. This feature is crucial if you want to maintain a professional look within all of your advertising.

WHITE LABEL AD CAMPAIGN TEMPLATES & LAYOUTS

If a white label software provider offers ad templates, then that same provider should also offer campaign layouts to drop your newly branded ads into. Campaign templates, once you customize them with your store's unique brand, will help take your reward program professionalism to a whole new level. When creating your campaigns using white label templates and layouts, you'll want to take advantage of options like account profile image links, "refer a friend" image links, reward point offer links, and hard-to-resist offer links. By using all of these options, you will maximize the chances that your campaign is effective and acted upon by all loyalty customers that click.

WHITE LABEL PRE-MADE STRATEGIC SALES CAMPAIGNS

The best white label software solutions for loyalty programs will go beyond templates that save you time. They will also provide strategic marketing assistance in the form of specific promotional campaign models that have already been proven to work. In the industry, these are referred to as "dynamic offers" and they provide automated reward program marketing that help you achieve the greatest ROI. These pre-made strategic sales campaigns will be expiration-based, action-based, and static offers. Expiration-based campaign strategies will focus on a set number of days the customer has to act from the time the offer is triggered. This strategy hustles the customer into spending-to-earn enough rewards points to win big. Action-based campaigns work similarly, but can include the opportunity for customers to earn bonus points for completing above-and-beyond actions, like referring a friend or tagging your store on social media. Finally, static offers will have a specific expiration date, but won't have the ticking-clock intensity of expiration-based campaigns.  

As you can see, using a white label software solution provider for your customer loyalty rewards program is almost like hiring five software developers and a whole marketing team without spending all the money it would cost to really do that. Unlike hiring a professional team, though, you will still need to invest your own time when you use white labeling, because someone--namely you--will have to work with those templates, add in your branding, manage the promotional campaigns, and measure the analytics to be sure your promotions are working.

Choosing a white label software provider for customer loyalty also has the potential to greatly benefit your retail store's bottom line in direct ways. The benefits encompass:

  • Increased revenue
  • Higher profits
  • More customers
  • Time & money saved

Additional features to look out for when selecting a white label customer loyalty program for your retail store are:

  • Promo code capabilities
  • Push notifications (in the app)
  • Tiers that loyal customers earn their way into
  • Gamification options that turn earning rewards into a game
  • Content generation to help you come up with campaign verbiage
  • Customization of features to help you tailor the software

Loyal~n~Save offers white label options for our customer loyalty rewards program. Our solutions enable customers to redeem promo codes for rewards right in the app and our app also empowers you to reach your customers directly with push notifications right to their devices. You can configure your rewards program to have tiers so that your most loyal and frequent shoppers receive the greatest rewards. Other customers will be motivated to spend more frequently in order to earn their way up the tiers you've set. You can create rewards games that involve challenging multi-step achievements to increase engagement. Our pre-made content includes template campaigns and also marketing strategies to help you maximize every sale. And best of all, our loyalty app is completely customizable to your brand!

This article was written by Loyal~n~Save, an omni-channel customer loyalty solution for retailers looking to increase customer retention and new customer acquisition.
Mira Gibson
Mira Gibson

Mira Gibson is a Loyalty Strategist at Loyal~n~Save where she develops innovative marketing strategies for small businesses. She is a content machine and advocates that marketing consistency and frequency is tantamount to success. She’s a passionate writer, avid reader, and she also manages a political blog in her spare time.