Ever since the Internet started to be popular, web providers have been offering their services to other companies for rebranding and resale over the net. The ‘White label’ concept is simple enough. Company “A” sets up a web service that end-users want. Another company, “B”, then sells the service using its own brand; and the two companies split the proceeds. Company A makes more overall sales of its service with less marketing expense. The value to company B is to have immediate access to an offering to sell without the costs of development or implementation. But how well do end-users do when two halves of a solution are glued together like this for online file storage?
White Label Offering Success Factors
When both partners are committed to giving end-users value for money and a great user experience, white label agreements have a good chance of working. Customers can benefit from a knowledgeable, competent sales and support team from company B. They may also be able to get value-added services such as custom online file storage applications, using the white label offering as a base. Company A works behind the scenes to fix any shortcomings in the service, and to implement new features requested by the market.
Possible Pitfalls in an Online File Storage Partnership
When more than one entity is involved in providing a service, mutual finger-pointing is always a potential problem: one partner says that it’s the other partner’s problem, and vice-versa. A mismatch in the online file storage product and the selling partner’s brand positioning may also put the white label agreement under strain. For example, the selling partner’s brand stands for user friendliness and ease of use, but the online file storage is technical and complex. On a longer term basis, if the service provider decides to develop its offering in a different direction to the one chosen by the sales partner, this may negatively affect the service for customers in the future.
Automation for Stable Service Quality
The more complete the online file storage package for partners to resell, the less the quality of the core service fluctuates. A number of providers have realized that by automating online service as much as possible, they can boost overall customer satisfaction and cut costs of operation. This allows them to either make higher profits or to lower the end price to the customer. Online FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and video tutorials are two examples. Good quality automated support for the service can help the white label offering be good, no matter who is selling it.
White Label by Accident or by Design?
Some providers discover the white label market when they have already started to sell their online file storage service under their own brand. They then add a white label offering to their range afterwards. The danger is in trying to force-fit an online file storage service into a reseller agreement when the service was never designed to be sold by another company. Possible shortcomings include bad targeting of suitable resellers and customers, and a lack of partner support and training. Can it still succeed? Yes, but on three conditions: customers are satisfied; loyal (they keep using the service via the same reseller; and ready to recommend the online file storage service to others). When these conditions are met, a white label agreement for online file storage can be equal to any similar service sold directly to end-users by a service provider.