The decision between white label and private label branding can be difficult for startups. The distinction between them is what? Can I ask if they’re legal? Is there ever a time when one strategy might be preferable to the other?

This is the right manual for you if you want to start your own product branding business. Listed below, we examine the differences between the white label and private label branding strategies and supply answers to your frequently asked questions about each.

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What Is the Difference Between White Label and Private Label?

White labeling and private labeling are methods of product branding in which you, the reseller or dropshipper, acquire products from the manufacturer and resell them under your own label. To be sure, they’re not interchangeable.

With private labeling, you work directly with the manufacturer to create the exact products you envision. In white labeling, on the other hand, you use the manufacturer’s existing design and formula while they take care of everything else, including adding your brand label.

Let’s take a closer look at the inner workings of each branding strategy for a fuller picture.

What Does White Label Mean?

Manufacturers historically provided their white label products with a blank label, hence the name. When a product is resold, the retailer often adds their own label to it.

Let’s back up a bit and talk about how white labeling functions to set the stage.

How Does It Work?

Let’s say, for example, that you operate a dropshipping beauty shop and are considering introducing your own brand of cosmetics to your clientele.

The next best thing to knowing how to formulate such items is forming a partnership with a top-tier cosmetics producer.

Following these steps, the white labeling process would proceed as follows:

Consider teaming up with a specialized contract manufacturer.
Give some details about the cosmetics you plan to market.
The producer will then show you the many formulations of the product they produce.
You negotiate a contract with a manufacturer to make the products you’ve decided on, tailoring each one to the specific needs of your business.
The manufacturer either makes the products and attaches your brand labels, or they give the products to you label-free, and you do the branding.

Who Is It Suitable For?

When you work with a white label manufacturer, you won’t have to worry about anything related to the development or production of your product. As a result, you should consider white labeling if:

are just starting out and still learning the ropes of the business, and you don’t know much about developing products
If you’d prefer not deal with the intricacies of production, and if you’d like to speed up product development and distribution, without sacrificing quality, this option may be for you.

Advantages of White Labeling

White labeling is easy because it does not involve learning any new skills; the manufacturer takes care of everything.
By leaving production in the hands of the manufacturer, you’re free to run your business and promote your brand instead of worrying about making products.
White label branding saves money because the manufacturer doesn’t have to come up with a new recipe or design, just make one they already have. Manufacturing costs can be kept low thanks to mass production and the lack of need for product customization.

Disadvantages of White Labeling

Not being able to put your own spin on things because the manufacturer decides every aspect of the product’s design and/or formula when you buy white label. So, you can’t have any say in the materials used to make the product.
White label goods are generic and do not differentiate your company from others. Aside from slight modifications to the packaging or the introduction of a new brand name, the product itself would be identical.

What Does Private Label Mean?

When compared to mass-market marketing, private labeling allows for greater customization of product names and packaging. The difference between private labeling and white labeling is that in the former, you collaborate with the manufacturer to develop a special version of the product just for your business.

How Does It Work?

Let’s say, for instance, that you’re interested in dropshipping or stocking private label hair care products. The steps involved in the process are as follows.

Locate a company that makes hair care products independently.
Describe the kinds of hair care items you hope to create under your label.
Describe the conceptualization and development of your product.
Make sure the final product is exactly what you envisioned by working with the manufacturer.
The manufacturer makes the goods with your labels on them.

Who Is It Suitable For?

Given the opportunity for direct input into the design process, private labeling could be a good fit for you if you:

You have expertise in the field of branding, whether it be technical know-how or artistic inspiration.
Providing a unique design or formula is a great way to give your products an edge in the competitive marketplace.

Advantages of Private Labeling

Your ability to exercise independent judgment in selecting materials and methods of production is enhanced when you collaborate with your manufacturer to establish a product concept.
Private labeling gives you the freedom to select packaging and ingredients that are consistent with your brand’s image. If your company is concerned about environmental issues or human health, you can choose to employ recyclable or all-natural materials.
To set your company apart from the competition, consider developing your own private label design or recipe. That means that you can promote not just your own brand, but also the product’s unusual recipe and other distinctive attributes.

Disadvantages of Private Labeling

Developing and testing a brand-new product’s formula or design prior to mass production might be far more time-consuming than working with a tried-and-true one.
To be of any use in the product development process, you need have a solid grasp of product design and formulation.
Development, testing, and certification of a product are time-consuming, expensive processes. Additional costs, such as the design and construction of a custom mold, may be included in the manufacturer’s final invoice.

A Comparison of Features: White Label vs Private Label

Whether you choose to sell white label or private label products, you’ll face some distinct difficulties and opportunities. Because of this, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option.

To that end, let’s take a closer look at some critical economic elements to think about as you weigh your options.


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Pricing tends to be quite consistent across markets. Customers are less inclined to purchase a brand’s product if it is too expensive, therefore this pricing strategy helps brands stay competitive.

The term “white label” refers to generic products. Though they do satisfy a demand in the market, their benefits may be less than compelling. Since this is the case, you should probably sell them at prices comparable to those already available.

Private label goods, on the other hand, feature unique designs and/or compositions that may provide an advantage to the consumer. For instance, there may be greater health benefits from organically produced goods. Private label goods can then be offered for sale at a premium price.

Marketing Strategy

Marketing, at its core, consists of emphasizing a product’s primary advantages in order to encourage potential buyers to make a purchase. If this is the case, then selling white label products could be distinct from selling private label products.

Promoting white-label products should center on the value it brings to the target market. To further persuade clients that your product is superior, emphasize your brand values such as your dedication to producing high-quality goods.

In contrast, the primary focus of private label product promotion is to highlight the items’ unique qualities. Focus on the benefits your product provides that others do not. Notable ingredients, functionality, or secondary gains like eco-conservation are all examples of such qualities.

Therefore, while the messaging may change, the same channels can be used to promote both white label and private label products. It’s enough to think about your business plan and how to get in front of your ideal customers.

If you have an online dropshipping store, for instance, your customers will mostly be those who make purchases from your store via the Internet. Therefore, it stands to reason that digital marketing would be the superior choice for promoting your products.

Business Strategy

Whether you decide to sell white label or private label products is a major aspect of your overall business strategy. Consider:

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What is your maximum spending limit on promotional materials? Since white labeling is less expensive, it could be a better option for those on a tighter budget than private labeling.
Your company’s current standing — if you’re a startup owner, you’re probably still searching for a place for your product or service in the marketplace. White labeling may be more beneficial because it requires less effort and time.
If your company has been around for a while, offering private label products is a fantastic way to make your brand stand out from the crowd. Having original thoughts could set you apart.

FAQs about White Label and Private Label Products

Are White Labeling and Private Labeling Legal?

Sure, they are.

Private labeling, like white labeling, involves contracting with a manufacturer and paying them to make your products. You are also honest about the fact that you want to resell the manufactured goods you have contracted them to produce.

White labeling and private labeling are not only permissible, but also completely legal, provided certain steps are taken. On the other hand, legal trouble could arise if you:

Purchase goods from a competing company and attempt to pass them off as your own.
Utilize the intellectual property of another company by copying their product designs or formulae

What Qualities Should I Look For in a Private Label or White Label Manufacturer?

Checking with your selected manufacturer to see if they provide the required service is the first step. Some producers focus exclusively on private labeling, while others provide white labeling or both.

Moreover, it is crucial to work toward:

Manufacturing expenses should be reasonable so that you may set reasonable prices for your products and still make a profit.
When ordering white label or private label goods, the quality of the finished product will depend on how well the manufacturer follows the specifications of the product’s design and formula. Maintain the highest quality standards always.
To what extent do you believe your manufacturer can reliably achieve your required delivery dates? What is their track record with ensuring timely deliveries? If they can’t help you, look elsewhere. The supply chain won’t be as unstable, which is a huge plus.
Having services like in-house labeling or decorative branding done at the same time as the delivery of the goods saves time and effort, making it easier to turn a profit. You have a better possibility of quality uniformity when working with a single manufacturer.
Your private label product’s design and formula should not be made public. Therefore, a reliable producer should maintain confidentiality and be ready to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) or non-negligence agreement (NNN), especially if they are located in China.

What Is the Difference Between Private Label and Brand?

A brand is a distinctive trademark or moniker that belongs to a specific firm. It serves to identify the goods produced by a specific firm.

Private label, on the other hand, is a strategy for creating and outsourcing the production of products with your own brand name on them.

Final Thoughts

The bright side of the white label vs. private label argument is that you can choose the best route for your company if you take the time to learn about both. At that point, make sure to:

Find the best producer for your needs.
Implement an effective method of pricing and advertising.
Maintain market dominance by constantly innovating and expanding your product range.