White-Labeling: Using an LMS with Extended Enterprise Branding
What is a White Label?
This is a product or service developed by one company and sold to other companies that rebrand it to make it look and appear as if they created it. The name is derived from a white label usually attached to products where marketers can fill in their trade dress (visual characteristics of a product that signify a product’s source to customers).
Another of its origins is in the music industry. Before a music album was released to the general public, the artwork for the vinyl record was not designed and printed. Promotional copies packaged in white sleeves were sent to DJs who would then drop the records to radio stations and nightclubs to gauge their interest and estimate the number of records to produce.
A good example of white-labeling is in retail. Walmart sorts different products and brands them with the tag ‘Great Value.’ However, this doesn’t mean that Walmart made these products. In fact, various companies produce these products and are willing to package them in ‘Great Value’ packages on behalf of Walmart.
White-labeling is one of the most common elearning topics. For information on other popular elearning topics, visit this page.
How White-Labeling Works
A provider develops a product and sells it to an end-user for rebranding. Through reseller partners, the providers access a larger market which helps clients to expand their product lines without necessarily creating their own products.
Anonymity is the key to white-labeling. The aim is for the consumer not to know that the product was developed or produced by another company other than the one they are associated with. Consequently, big brand names have successfully sold white-labeled products without their customers noticing it.
Examples of White Label
White Label Software
This is where a marketing software provider sells its product to an agency to resell. The agency then rebrands the software product with its logo and other details and then sells it to the end-user. Mostly, this happens with SaaS (software as a service) companies where users make an arrangement for subscription on a monthly basis.
In most cases, the end-user is a business but the software can also be sold to individual customers. This depends on the software product and service model of the white label provider and reseller.
White Label Products
These are created and developed by one company to be resold and rebranded by another company that will sell the final product to the end-user, mostly, an individual customer. In this case, resellers expand their offers without making their own products. In turn, they scale their costs, revenue, and offerings. White label products can also be sold to businesses. However, this will depend on the product and service model of the product provider and the reseller.
A good example of a white label product is HubShout. It is a company that resells SEO (search engine optimization) services to individuals and companies who don’t want to purchase SEO software products. Another example is Costco, a retail corporation that sells the Kirkland Signature batteries.
However, the batteries are made by the white label provider Duracell. Most people don’t know this but it is the arrangement between Duracell and Costco.
White Label Services
This is where a digital agency service provider sells its services to another agency for reselling. The latter then rebrands the service with its own logo and other details and then sells it to the end-user. Similar to white label software, this is common with SaaS companies where users make an arrangement for subscription on a monthly basis.
The end users are businesses but the service can also be sold to an individual customer depending on the service being provided and the service model of the provider and reseller.
White Labeling in Learning Management Systems
The eLearning market is growing. In fact, it is estimated that by 2025, the industry will be valued at $325 billion hence, most organizations are incorporating eLearning into their operational strategies.
LMS (Learning Management System) solutions help organizations to scale their training operations and save costs. They also provide consistency among many other benefits. Check out our blog post ‘What is an LMS? A Guide to Learning Management Systems,’ for detailed information on the benefits of LMS platforms.
The question one would ask is, how important is a white label LMS? Let's begin by defining what a white label LMS is. This is an LMS platform customized for your organization that allows you to add your logo, URL, branding, and other details to make it look like your own product.
Instead of creating your own LMS for scratch which can be time-consuming and costly, there are providers ready to sell you a customizable product that can be adapted to your organization’s brand.
Acquiring a white label LMS will speed up the marketing and employee training times and will provide an easier solution that gives you expert resources. Such customization and personalization lead to enhanced user engagement since your end-users will feel that the LMS is part of your brand.
Consequently, there will be a greater adoption rate due to the trust created between you and your learners. Trust is important when soft skills trainings are being onboarded. Additionally, adoption is equally important for industry regulations compliance and legal matters.
A white label LMS is tailor-made to your organization’s specifications with irrelevant and excess details omitted. Tovuti LMS is a white label eLearning platform that will allow you to customize and personalize your LMS to your own standards.
Tovuti White Label LMS Features
Custom Brand Manager / Extended Enterprise
Tovuti’s brand manager allows you to create multiple front-facing websites and multiple learner portals, style them completely separately and attach them to different domains or subdomains. Need different portals for different branches, different channel partners, different sub-brands, different clients? Our brand manager allows you to completely customize and white-label your learning experience, no matter how many different audiences you cater to.
Customizable Login Pages
Tovuti is a white-labeled learning solution and you can even create customizable login pages so your learners are immersed in your brand from the beginning to the end of their experience on your Tovuti platform.
White Label versus Private Label
The terms ‘white label’ and ‘private label’ are interchangeably used and, when it comes to software and services, they are one and the same thing. However, ‘private label’ is mostly used in reference to goods while ‘white label’ is commonly used when referring to software.
Nonetheless, regardless of how you look at it, the product or service is made in a way that it can be rebranded so that the seller/reseller can sell it under their name to the end-user.
White Label versus Co-Branding
You can white-label or co-brand a product or service but not both. Co-branding is when a product or service bears the brands of the supplier and the reseller. It is an effective method that leverages the brand power of the company that is prominent. It is quite different from white-labeling where only one brand name appears on the product or service.
Kirkland Signature Coffee is an example of a co-branded product, with Costco and Starbucks using their brand names jointly for the product.
White Label versus Outsourcing
Outsourcing is when you hire someone, on paid terms, to do a certain function for your organization. It can be a one-time or continuous basis arrangement. You may or may not white-label an outsourced product or service. It all depends on your organization’s service model.
For instance, when you outsource the services of your digital marketing agency, you are outsourcing your brand. However, if you outsource your digital marketing services to another company that sells its services using your brand name, you are outsourcing and white-labeling at the same.
Again, if you want to maintain your digital marketing services in-house, and sell them under another’s organization’s brand, that is outsourcing.
Types of White-Labeled Products and Services
Here are some common types:
- White label SaaS: This is re-brandable software that is licensed and acquired by clients on a subscription basis. Mostly it is hosted on a cloud. Resellers usually rebrand the software to appear as their original creation and then sell it to end-users.
This model disrupted the traditional method where end-users had to buy software, mostly to be installed on their computers and pay for it on a monthly or yearly basis.
- B2B white label: These are products or services developed by a white label company and sold to another company that resells the products and services to end-users.
- B2C white label: These are products and services resold by another company other than the developer, to end-users who are individual consumers.
Branding versus White-Labeling Your LMS
Branding and white-labeling might be used interchangeably and might mean one and the same thing but, the reality is that there are some differences.
Your LMS is the training hub of your organization. Learners need to feel that the platform is part of your organization for them to engage with it freely. Hence, a strong visual identity is important and that is where branding comes in.
Branding your LMS will give learners the look and feel associated with your organization. Indeed, it brings some consistency with your overall organization’s identity which makes learners recognize and identify the platform. In turn, they will trust the LMS ecosystem and engage with it more.
Not all LMS platforms are highly customizable. Tovuti LMS is among a good number of eLearning platforms that can be highly customized and personalized. In some cases, some vendors might only allow you to change elements such as the logo. However, this is not the case with Tovuti. It is always important to talk with your vendor and find out the customization and personalization options available.
White-Labeled LMS Portal
In some cases, some organizations might request for much more than just branding. This happens for organizations with external customers and partners. In such cases, the client will need all references of the vendor removed from the LMS.
White-labeling gives identity to the client making them feel that the LMS belongs to them. Importantly, the ability to white label an LMS depends on the vendor. Hence, it is vital to decide whether it is necessary to have full or partial customization and personalization options.
What Can Be Branded and White-Labeled in an LMS
Below are some elements that can be branded in your LMS:
- Portal: Since the LMS is an environment where your learners will spend most of their time, its look and feel matters a lot. In fact, it has a huge impact on the overall user experience. Personalizing your LMS portal entails adding elements such as your organization’s logo and banner images displaying courseware information.
- Login page: The login page is an important entry point to your LMS. Most LMS platforms will allow you to customize the login page so that it gives a user experience similar to your other products. For instance, you can change the size of the login screen, include a custom welcome message, and add your organization’s logo.
- Multi-portals: If you need to create sub-portals suited for different learners, branding features are important. Branding will make the multi-portals unique and distinct reflecting the needs of the different audiences of learners.
White-Labeling Your LMS
Below are some elements that can be white-labeled in your LMS:
- Multi-portals: Similar to branding, you can also white-label multi-portals to give each portal a unique and distinct environment.
- Custom domain: If you decide to brand the URL of your LMS, the URL might contain the name of the vendor. For instance, it can be something like ‘http://myuniversity.tovutilms.com.’ However Tovuti LMS allows you to completely customize and own the domain name. Hence, the end product will be something like ‘http://myuniversity.com.’
- Custom emails: Mostly, the LMS provider will send emails to your end-users using their domain. White-labeled LMS platforms will allow you to create customized emails that reflect your company’s brand and identity. Hence, a sample email of a white label LMS can be something like ‘firstname.lastname@example.org.’
Talk to Us
White-labeling your LMS gives it a look and feel that it was developed in-house. Branding is also important for purposes of identity. Such customization and personalization options lead to trust and strengthen your brand’s identity. If you are looking for a white label solution for your organization, Tovuti LMS will give you options that will match your company’s specifications.