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The ecosystem of the white label

The future of business doesn’t just lie in emergent technology, but in the building blocks of solutions and in creating ecosystems of value, says Brian Timperley, the CEO and co-founder of Turrito Networks 

White label. Private label. These are the name tags attached to the intelligent rebranding and labelling of services and solutions to create ecosystems of value that allow for smaller companies to achieve systematic growth. This is a market that’s not defined by the SKU but by consumption models and expertise, and by the organisation’s ability to deliver this value in an intelligent and strategic way. This is a strategy that allows for the business to take the capabilities of different products and services and then wrap them in a unique value proposition that brings a very specific and relevant solution to the customer.  

This is a trend that’s seen solid adoption globally as companies of different sizes and sectors look to how they can white label existing services to drive their own growth in competitive markets. It has become a platform from which the business can define the real value it brings to the customer, and use this value proposition as a differentiator. The reality is that it makes sense to bundle solutions into cohesive ecosystems without having to diversify into the development of those solutions. It means that the focus of the business is not on updates and research and development but on how those solutions can be intelligently implemented to deliver measurable return on customer investment. 

That said, there is a stigma attached to whitelabelling. There is a perception that a company is taking another company’s value and placing their own brand in front of it and then claiming the value as their own. However, that approach is not going to take any company further than the front door. The key word here is value. You can put as many labels onto a product as you like, but you have to show how your business adds tangible value to the implementation, service and solution. This is the foundation of getting this model right. You have to add something significant to the delivery of that service to the customer.  

If you approach the idea of the white label from the perspectives of value and optimisation, then the perception turns on its head. Leveraging other products becomes an opportunity. Using another product becomes an intelligent growth proposition. Most major businesses have a level of white labelling in their strategies already. Apple don’t build their products, they design the processes and aesthetic around them, and outsource the commoditized build. They insist on a certain quality, and they retain control, but they use other companies to create the final product. It’s a smart move for a business to understand where its strengths lie and to use this in combination with their supplier expertise to deliver a combined value which is a multiple of the basic product / service.  

By plugging in technology to the unique selling points of your business, you’re creating an aggregated value proposition that really can meet customer needs. It allows for improved scalability and flexibility, and tapping into multiple solutions and systems that give your customers access to a much broader ecosystem.  

It’s also important to note that the development of solutions and systems is expensive. Expensive, time consuming and complex. Diversification and growth will always be a priority for any organisation looking remain relevant in mercurial markets, but often the temptation to improve margin by building your own products can lead to you losing the leverage and agility that defined your offering in the first place. If you’re suddenly constrained by your own products, you lose the agility and freedom that white labelling introduces.   

Ultimately, the white label may lessen your businesses potential margin, but the gains are often well worth it. It allows for your business to create value through ingenuity and expertise, and to create innovative solutions that aggregate the already extensive expertise available in the market today. This is a liberating opportunity to shift into new markets, explore new sectors and to consistently evolve your own offerings in line with the market.  

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