White Labelling: The Hidden Powerhouse of Brand Expansion

what is white labelling

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In today’s dynamic business landscape, the quest for efficiency and market presence has led many companies to explore innovative strategies. Among these, white labelling stands out as a powerful tool that offers businesses a unique blend of brand identity, cost efficiency, and rapid market entry. 

At its core, white labelling is the practice of selling products or services produced by one company under another company’s brand. It’s a collaborative approach where one business focuses on product development while the other takes on branding and market distribution. 

But why has white labelling garnered such attention in diverse industries, from software solutions to consumer goods? This article delves deep into the world of white labelling, unpacking its nuances, benefits, challenges, and transformative potential for businesses looking to expand their horizons without reinventing the wheel. 

What is White Labelling? - Definition and Basics

What do you mean by white labelling

White labelling refers to the process of a product or service developed by one company (often referred to as the producer or manufacturer) being rebranded and sold by another company under its own company name and identity. This arrangement allows the selling company to present the product as if it were their own creation, even though the product’s development and maintenance lie with the original producer.

To visualise this, consider a scenario in the supermarket. You might notice that alongside renowned brands, there are store-branded products — from cereals to cleaning agents. Many of these store-branded products are, in fact, white-labelled. They are produced by third-party manufacturers but are packaged and branded consistently with the supermarket’s brand.

But it’s not just tangible products that can be white-labelled. The digital realm has seen a surge in white-labelled services, especially in the software industry. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms, mobile applications, and digital tools are often developed by tech companies and then rebranded and resold by other businesses, allowing them to offer sophisticated digital solutions without needing in-house development.

In essence, white labelling serves as a bridge, connecting the expertise of manufacturers with the branding prowess and market reach of sellers. It’s a symbiotic relationship where both parties can focus on their strengths. This leads to a win-win scenario: manufacturers gain distribution channels, and sellers expand their product or service offerings without the heavy lifting of product development.

To learn more about labelling in general, our guide on what is labelling will come in handy. 

What is White Label Branding?

While white labelling focuses on the process of rebranding and selling products or services, white label branding delves deeper into the realm of brand identity and perception. It’s not just about slapping a new label on a product; it’s about creating a cohesive brand experience for the end consumer.

  • Brand Identity Over Product: White-label branding emphasises the importance of the seller’s brand over the product itself. It’s about ensuring the product seamlessly fits into the brand’s existing portfolio and resonates with its ethos and values.
  • Consistent Brand Experience: From the product’s packaging or user interface to its marketing collateral, every touchpoint should reflect the brand’s identity. This consistency ensures that consumers associate the white-labelled product with the brand’s promise and quality.
  • Building Trust: When done right, white-label branding can bolster a brand’s reputation. Consumers might not know the product’s origins, but they trust the brand selling it. This trust can lead to increased loyalty and repeat purchases.


In a nutshell, while white labelling provides the framework for introducing a new product under a different brand, white label branding is the art of making that product truly belong to the brand. It’s about ensuring that every interaction with the product reinforces the brand’s message, promise, and identity.

How to White Label a Product? - The Mechanics Behind White Labelling

How to white label a product

Embarking on the white labelling journey can be both exciting and daunting. However, with a clear roadmap, businesses can confidently navigate this process. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to white label a product:

  1. Market Research: Before diving into white labelling, it’s essential to understand the market landscape. Identify gaps in your current product lineup, understand consumer demands, and pinpoint products that could fill these gaps.
  2. Identify Potential Partners: Once you’ve zeroed in on the type of product you want to white label, search for white label manufacturers or service providers who specialise in that domain. Look for partners with a proven track record, positive reviews, and a reputation for quality.
  3. Evaluate Product Quality: Before committing, request samples or trial versions of the product. This allows you to assess the product’s quality, functionality and whether it aligns with your brand’s standards.
  4. Negotiate Terms: Engage in discussions with potential partners to negotiate terms. This includes pricing, minimum order quantities, delivery timelines, and after-sales support. Ensure that all terms are clearly documented in a formal agreement.
  5. Branding and Customisation: Work closely with the manufacturer to customise the product in line with your brand identity. This could involve tweaking product features, redesigning packaging, or re-skinning software interfaces.
  6. Launch Strategy: Plan a comprehensive launch strategy. This includes marketing campaigns, promotional offers, and training sessions for your sales team to familiarise them with the new product.
  7. Feedback Loop: After the product launch, gather feedback from customers. This helps refine the product, address issues, and ensure continuous improvement.
  8. Regular Review: Periodically review the partnership. Assess sales figures, customer feedback, and the overall performance of the white-labelled product. This will help make informed decisions about future orders, potential product enhancements, or even new white labelling opportunities.


The beauty of white labelling lies in its flexibility. While the above steps provide a general framework, each white labelling partnership can be tailored to the specific needs and strengths of the involved parties. This adaptability makes white labelling a favoured strategy for many businesses looking to expand their offerings without starting from the ground up.

Advantages of White Labelling

White labelling offers a unique business model that provides distinct advantages to both manufacturers and resellers. Let’s break down the benefits of white labelling for both parties involved. 

Advantages to the Manufacturer

List of four benefits of white labelling for manufacturers
  • Saves Marketing and Promotion Costs: By focusing solely on production and leaving the branding, marketing, and sales to resellers, manufacturers can save significant costs associated with direct-to-consumer marketing.
  • Economies of Scale: White labelling often involves agreements with multiple resellers. This bulk production allows manufacturers to benefit from economies of scale, optimising production costs.
  • Risk Distribution: Manufacturers share the market risks with resellers, ensuring a more stable and predictable business model.
  • Stable Revenue Stream: Manufacturers can enjoy a more predictable and stable revenue stream with multiple resellers buying their products.

Advantages to the Reseller

List of nine advantages of white labelling for resellers
  • Rapid Market Entry: Developing a product from scratch can be time-consuming. White labelling allows resellers to swiftly introduce new products to the market, capitalising on emerging trends and consumer demands.
  • Cost Efficiency: By opting for white-labelled products, resellers can bypass the significant investments associated with product research, development and production infrastructure, allowing them to allocate resources more effectively.
  • Focus on Core Competencies: White labelling enables companies to concentrate on what they do best. Whether it’s branding, marketing, or customer service, resellers can channel their resources and expertise into areas where they excel.
  • Build Brand Equity: Even though the product is developed by a third party, it’s sold under the reseller’s brand. This means that all the positive associations, customer loyalty, and repeat purchases contribute directly to building the brand’s equity.
  • Rapid Product Portfolio Expansion: With white label solutions, businesses can diversify their consumer products range without the complexities of product development and manufacturing process. This attracts a broader customer base and offers cross-selling opportunities and tapping into new market segments.
  • Increased Revenue Streams: With an expanded product portfolio, resellers can tap into new revenue streams, enhancing their profitability and ensuring sustained growth
  • Risk Mitigation: Introducing a new product involves inherent risks. However, with white labelling, businesses can mitigate some of these risks by leveraging products that have already been tested and proven in the market.
  • Competitive Pricing: The savings on manufacturing and development can allow resellers to offer competitive prices, attracting a larger customer base.
  • Customisation and Brand Alignment: While the core product is sourced from a manufacturer, many white label services offer a degree of customisation, allowing resellers to align the product more closely with their brand identity.

Disadvantages of White Labelling

White label solution, offering numerous advantages, also comes with a set of challenges. Both manufacturers and resellers need to be aware of the potential drawbacks of white labelling to navigate this business model effectively. Here’s a breakdown of the disadvantages for both parties involved:

Disadvantages to the Manufacturer

Five dissimilarities of white labelling for manufacturers
  • Limited Brand Recognition: Since the products are sold under the reseller’s brand, manufacturers might miss out on direct brand recognition and loyalty from end consumers.
  • Dependency on Resellers: Manufacturers rely on resellers for market feedback, which might not always be timely or accurate, potentially affecting product improvements.
  • Potential for Lower Profit Margins: While white labelling can lead to bulk orders, it might also result in lower profit margins as resellers expect discounted rates for purchasing in volume.
  • Lack of Direct Market Control: Manufacturers have limited control over how their products are marketed, priced, or even the target audience, as these decisions are primarily in the hands of resellers.
  • Limiting Terms: Some agreements with resellers might be restrictive, preventing manufacturers from partnering with certain other businesses and potentially limiting growth opportunities.

Disadvantages to the Reseller

Nine demerits of white labelling for resellers
  • Dependency on Manufacturers: Resellers rely on manufacturers for product quality, updates, and timely delivery, which can pose challenges if there are discrepancies or delays.
  • Hard to Make Changes: White-labelled products are typically ready-made, making it challenging to implement significant modifications. Resellers might lack the technical details or need to invest additional resources to make desired changes.
  • Potential Brand Dilution: If the white-labelled product is available through multiple resellers, it can lead to market saturation, diluting the brand’s uniqueness.
  • Quality Concerns and Risk to Brand Reputation: The onus of product quality falls on the reseller’s brand. If the manufacturer compromises on quality, the reseller’s reputation takes a hit.
  • Limited Product Customisation: Resellers might face constraints in customising the product to their specific market needs or brand identity, especially if the manufacturer has rigid product specifications.
  • Revenue Sharing: Depending on the agreement, resellers might have to share a significant portion of the revenue with manufacturers, affecting profitability compared to private label branding.
  • Potential Contractual Limitations: Some white labelling agreements might have restrictive clauses, limiting the reseller’s flexibility in terms of pricing, marketing, or even exploring other partnership opportunities.
  • Monopsony Concerns: The dominance of larger retailers using white-labelled products might edge out smaller competitors. This could lead to a scenario where a single buyer dominates the market, potentially influencing prices and supply dynamics to their advantage.
  • Entry Barriers for New Players: The proliferation of white label brands can elevate market entry thresholds. New firms might find it challenging to penetrate the market and establish their presence, which could curtail overall market competition and diversity.

What Industries Use White Labelling?

White labelling is a versatile business model that has found its way into various industries, allowing companies to expand their offerings and tap into new markets. Here’s a look at some industries where white labelling thrives, accompanied with examples:

  1. Software and Tech Solutions:
    • Example: Many software companies offer white-labelled CRM solutions. Company A’s CRM software can be rebranded and sold by Company B with custom interfaces and branding.
  2. Financial Services:
    • Example: Smaller banks use the infrastructure of larger institutions to offer white-labelled online banking platforms or credit card services.
  3. Retail and Supermarkets:
    • Example: Retail giants like Target and Whole Foods and supermarkets like Woolworths and Coles offer store-branded products manufactured by third-party companies but rebranded and sold by them.   
  4. Digital Marketing Tools:
    • Example: Digital marketing agencies use white-labelled SEO tools, rebranding them and offering them as part of their client service packages.
  5. E-commerce Platforms:
    • Example: An e-commerce platform might offer businesses white-labelled solutions to set up online stores, providing back-end infrastructure while allowing front-end customisation.
  6. Educational Platforms:
    • Example: Online course platforms often allow educators to white-label their solutions, enabling them to offer courses under their brand while using the third-party platform’s infrastructure.
  7. Hotels and Accommodations:
    • Example: Hotels frequently use white-labelled products for their in-room amenities. The shampoos, soaps, and lotions provided in rooms are manufactured by a third-party company but branded with the hotel’s logo.
  8. Cosmetics:
    • Example: Many boutique beauty brands do not have their own manufacturing facilities. Instead, they design their product line and use white-labelled services to produce cosmetics, which they then brand and sell as their unique creations.
  9. Health and Wellness Products:
    • Example: Dietary supplements, protein powders, and other wellness products are often produced by specialised manufacturers. Health brands can white label these products, adding their branding and unique selling propositions.
  10. Fashion and Apparel:
    • Example: Many fashion retailers, especially those in the fast fashion segment, do not design or manufacture all their clothing lines in-house. Instead, they source white-labelled apparel from manufacturers, adding their tags, own branding, and sometimes minor customisations. This allows retailers to rapidly refresh their collections, responding to the latest trends without the lead time of designing and producing entirely new lines.

When to Consider White Labelling?

White labelling can be a strategic move for many businesses, but it’s essential to understand when it’s most advantageous. Here are some situations or business scenarios where white labelling can be beneficial:

  • If there’s an immediate opportunity in the market and you need to introduce a product swiftly without the usual lead time of development. 
  • If your business lacks the technical expertise, resources and infrastructure to develop a product from scratch.
  • If you want to diversify your product portfolio without the complexities of product development.
  • If you wish to test certain products in the new market before fully investing in its development. 
  • If competitors are rapidly expanding their own branded products range and, you need to keep pace without falling behind. 
  • If your existing customers express a need or desire for a particular product or service that you don’t currently offer. 
  • To bypass certain regulatory challenges like registrations or licensing for product production.
  • The business is small or has a limited core team but has the necessary funds and wants a quick route to market without extensive development. 
  • If the business intends to focus primarily on brand-building or developing innovative customer-serving strategies. 
  • If the business wants to streamline operations and focus on areas like marketing, sales, and customer engagement

Potential Challenges and Pitfalls of White Labelling

Five white labelling potential challenges and pitfalls

Embarking on a white labelling journey can be a transformative experience for businesses, unlocking new avenues for growth and diversification. However, like any strategic decision, it comes with its own set of intricacies and potential pitfalls. This section delves into the potential hurdles and considerations businesses should be prepared for when opting for a white labelling approach.

  • Quality Control: One of the primary concerns with white labelling is maintaining consistent product quality. Since the production is outsourced, businesses might face challenges in ensuring that every batch or version of the product meets their standards. This can be particularly challenging if the manufacturer cuts corners or if there’s a lack of a robust quality assurance process in place.
  • Dependency: Over-reliance on a single white-label provider can be risky. If the provider faces operational issues, supply chain disruptions, or even goes out of business, it can have a cascading effect on the reseller’s operations. 
  • Market Saturation: If the white-labelled product becomes popular, there’s a risk of multiple businesses offering essentially the same product. This can lead to market saturation, making it challenging for businesses to differentiate themselves and potentially driving down prices due to increased competition.
  • Reputation Management: With white labelling, the reseller’s brand is on the line. If there are any issues with the product, whether it’s related to quality, functionality, or even ethical concerns, it’s the reseller’s reputation that’s at stake. Managing and mitigating these risks can be challenging, especially when the production process is out of the reseller’s direct control. 
  • Scalability Issues: As your business grows, white label companies might not have the capacity to meet increased demand, leading to potential supply chain disruptions.

How to Design White Label Product's Labels?

Designing the label for a white label product is a delicate balance of aesthetics and functionality. It’s essential to capture the essence of your brand while ensuring the label remains clean and legible. 

Start by understanding your brand’s core values and the message you wish to convey. A simple, uncluttered design often resonates more with customers, allowing them to quickly grasp the product’s value proposition. 

Incorporate relevant imagery that aligns with your brand, but be cautious not to overcomplicate the design. Legibility is paramount; barcodes and every piece of text, from the product name to the ingredients or usage instructions, should be easily readable. And, of course, always ensure your label adheres to any regional or product-specific regulations. If you want to learn more about the details of label and barcode design, please see our guide on best practices for designing perfect labels and barcodes.

In today’s digital age, leveraging professional software can significantly streamline the label design process. Tools like Seagull Scientific’s BarTender Software not only facilitate the design process but also ensure precision and compliance. BarTender offers a suite of features tailored for effective label design, from high-quality output to seamless barcode integration. By investing in such tools, businesses can ensure their labels are not only visually appealing but also functional and compliant, bolstering their brand’s presence in the market.

At Triton, we take immense pride in being a reputable distributor of Seagull Scientific’s BarTender Software. Catering to diverse business needs, we offer all four on-premise editions: Starter Edition, Professional Edition, Automation Edition and Enterprise Edition.  

For businesses eyeing a shift towards digital transformation, we’re thrilled to introduce BarTender Cloud. This cloud-centric rendition of the BarTender software eradicates the need for individual installations, offering a seamless, cloud-based experience.

Choosing Triton means opting for competitive pricing without compromising on quality. Trust us with your BarTender needs, and witness the Triton difference firsthand.

How to Print White Labels for Products?

The process of printing white labels for products goes beyond merely transferring information onto a surface; it’s about ensuring the labels are durable, clear, and reflect the brand’s professionalism. One of the foremost considerations is selecting the right printing method. 

Among the various techniques available, thermal printing emerges as a frontrunner for product labels. It’s renowned for delivering crisp, clear prints that remain resistant to smudging, ensuring that your labels retain their legibility even in challenging environments. Check out our guide on how thermal printing works to learn the science behind thermal print technology. 

However, the printing method is just one piece of the puzzle. It’s equally vital to opt for high-quality label materials. The substrate you choose can significantly influence the label’s longevity and appearance. Pairing thermal printing with premium materials ensures that the labels can withstand external factors like moisture, UV rays, and wear and tear.

At Triton, we pride ourselves on offering a handpicked selection of top-tier thermal printers from industry-leading brands such as Epson, Element, Senor, Honeywell, Zebra and TSC and coloured label printers from OKI

We ensure that every business, regardless of its scale or niche, finds the ideal printing solution tailored to its unique requirements. That’s why we have a diverse inventory that caters to a wide array of printing needs, featuring direct thermal printers, thermal transfer printers, barcode label printers, desktop printers, industrial printers, mobile printers and receipt printers.

But our offerings don’t stop at printers. We understand that superior printing outcomes require top-notch consumables. That’s why we’ve curated an extensive range of print consumables that meet the highest industry standards. 

Our print consumable inventory stocks thermal transfer ribbons, thermal labels, thermal carton labels, thermal carcase tags, food-compliant thermal inserts, receipt rolls and shipping & freight labels

At Triton Store, we don’t just sell products; we promise quality at competitive prices, backed by our impeccable customer service. Our expert team is always accessible via the live chat widget below, ready to assist and guide you through your shopping journey. 

So, if you’re on the hunt for the best in thermal printing and supplies, look no further than Triton Store.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Is White Labelling Illegal?

No, white labelling is legal as long as both parties adhere to agreed-upon terms and industry regulations.

Do You Need Permission to Sell White Label Products?

Yes, you need explicit permission from the original white label company, manufacturer, or service provider to white-label their products.

What's the Difference Between White Labelling and Private Labelling?

White labelling involves selling generic products under various brand names, while private labelling is about a unique product sold exclusively under one own brand.

Can Any Business Use White Labelling?

While any business can explore white labelling, it’s especially beneficial for those looking to expand their product range without extensive development.

Can I Customise a White Label Product?

Customisation varies by white label manufacturer; some allow modifications, while others offer fixed product features.

Are White Label Products Typically Cheaper Than Branded Ones?

Often, yes. Compared to private label brands and private label products, white label products can be more cost-effective, but prices vary based on quality and agreement terms. 

Final Thoughts

In the ever-evolving business landscape, white labelling emerges as a strategic tool, enabling companies to expand their offerings without the intricacies of product development. By understanding its mechanics, benefits, drawbacks and potential pitfalls, businesses can harness its potential to achieve rapid market entry, cost efficiency, and brand diversification. 

While it’s essential to navigate the challenges, the rewards of white labelling are manifold, from fostering symbiotic manufacturer-reseller relationships to meeting dynamic market demands. As with any business strategy, success in white labelling hinges on informed decisions, robust partnerships, and a keen understanding of market dynamics. 

Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or an established brand, white labelling offers a promising avenue to amplify your market presence and drive growth.

We hope this article was useful. 

Thanks for reading! 

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