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Small Business Marketing

What is White Labeling?

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My topic for the most recent episode of the Small Business Marketing Minute podcast is something that a lot of marketing professionals probably wish I wouldn’t mention–white labeling.  White labeling is the practice of representing another company’s products or services as your own, with that company’s permission.  Although I don’t use this practice in my marketing agency, it is very common in the marketing industry.

While there is nothing wrong per se with white labeling, there are many marketing professionals who use it inappropriately, and land themselves in trouble as a result.  For example, some people who operate “web design” businesses do not actually have any technical web design skills, and outsource all the work to web design agencies in Southeast Asia who allow their services to be white labeled.  If something goes wrong with the project, this can often make problems very difficult to fix, since the person dealing with the client does not actually have the ability to fix the problem.

If you are working with a marketing professional, be sure to ask them if they use any white-labeled providers.  If they say yes, ask them who they are and how they were selected.  If the marketing professional is not willing to answer this question, it probably is better to work with someone else.

For a more in-depth explanation of this issue, watch my latest video podcast episode, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes to get future episodes as soon as they’re published.

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