How Does The Private Label Business Model Differ From Others?

In the private label business model, manufacturers produce unbranded goods that are later branded and sold by resellers, functioning across sectors like fashion, personal care, cosmetics, beverages, and paper products by allowing manufacturers to focus on production and resellers to concentrate on marketing and selling the products.

The World of Private Label Business

A private label business is a strategy where manufacturers produce unbranded goods that are later branded and sold by resellers, benefiting both parties by allowing manufacturers to focus on production without worrying about branding or retail contracts and enabling resellers to market ready-made products, a model prevalent in sectors like fashion, personal care, cosmetics, beverages, and paper products.

What Exactly is a Private Label Business?

Think of a private label business as the retail industry’s secret handshake. It’s a nifty strategy where manufacturers whip up physical goods without branding them, much like a chef prepares a plate of spaghetti sans any labels. These unbranded products are then handed over to resellers who, with their pulse on the target audience’s preferences, rebrand these products to make them their own and serve them up to the final consumers.

Hallmarks of Private Label Companies

Imagine a perfectly synchronized ballet; that’s what the manufacturer-reseller partnership in private labeling resembles. It’s a pragmatic and cost-effective solution that allows each party to shine in their area of expertise. By dividing the value chain, it helps minimize risk and cut down on those nagging costs tied with owning the entire production-to-consumption journey.

Manufacturers can breathe easy, free from concerns about creating a consumer-facing brand or navigating retail contracts. On the other hand, resellers can hit the ground running with ready-to-market, rebranded products without stressing about manufacturing.

This model has been making waves in sectors like fashion but also extends to personal care items, cosmetics, beverages, and paper products. Even everyday items like salad dressings and condiments might be privately labeled!

Private Label Manufacturers and Sellers

One enticing aspect of private labeling is customization! Manufacturers often tweak their products or create entirely unique ones for specific resellers — adding an additional zing to this already exciting business model.

Consider Dollar Shave Club; this grooming behemoth doesn’t manufacture its own razors. They source their razors from a private-label manufacturer and merely add their branding.

And who isn’t familiar with AmazonBasics? This Amazon-owned brand offers an array of consumer goods using private label manufacturers. They exploit Amazon’s extensive user data to customize their offerings and cater to wide-ranging consumer needs.

Finally, we have Costco’s Kirkland Signature — Costco’s private label brand spanning groceries to clothing. The quality often rivals national brands but at friendlier price points – now that’s value for money!

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Private Label vs. Other Business Models

Private label strategy involves a retailer contracting a manufacturer to produce a unique, often premium product to be sold exclusively under the retailer’s brand, while white label strategy entails a manufacturer producing more generic products that multiple retailers can rebrand and sell as their own.

Private Label and White Label: Two Similar Strategies

Private labeling allows for greater control over pricing, unique branding, and bespoke product customization, while white labeling offers a more affordable, broader reach but with generic brands and less product customization.

Price Tags: The Superpowers of Private and White Labeling

If private and white label models were comic book characters, they’d both have affordability emblazoned on their superhero capes. However, it’s their unique approach to cost that sets them apart. 

Picture private label as the invisible genius crafting a product for another brand to showcase in the limelight. This backstage mastery allows retailers to be exclusive product curators, setting them apart from rivals while controlling pricing, branding, and marketing like a master puppeteer.

White label goods, though similar in origin (crafted by third-party manufacturers), are less bespoke and more generic.1 They’re the ready-to-wear apparel of the business world – fitting all but perhaps lacking that distinctive sparkle.

Tailor-Made vs Ready-Made: The Branding Dynamics in Private and White Labeling

In the bedazzled realm of branding, customization is royalty—and private labeling is certainly regal. By forming an alliance with manufacturers (their courtiers), private label owners dictate premium quality, create unique products to rival established brands, and even manipulate manufacturing costs and price points across product lines. It’s akin to having a personal chef who caters to your every culinary whim!

Conversely, white labeling is more of a buffet approach; manufacturers churn out generic products for multiple companies to rebrand as their own—less distinctive but potentially wider in reach.

National Brands vs Private Labels

Branding strategy can be likened to a riveting game of chess; national brands and private labels are the powerful players, each with unique strengths. National brands carry the weight of reputation and customer loyalty—the knights valiantly charging into battle! But don’t underestimate the power of private labels—quick to adapt to market shifts or customer feedback—they’re the agile pawns ready for swift action.

Amazon’s Business Model: Private Label vs Wholesale

Shifting our gaze towards Amazon—the digital mecca of retail—we find an intriguing blend of private label offerings cohabiting with wholesale products.

Both strategies offer lucrative avenues for Amazon sellers, yet they possess distinct characteristics that set them apart. Stay tuned for our next blog post where we’ll dissect these differences so you can identify your next winning strategy!

Private Labeling: Pros and Cons

Private labeling offers retailers advantages such as control over product customization and pricing, brand identity establishment, and market adaptability, but also poses challenges, including potential legal issues with copycatting and the risk of creating a monopsony by overpowering smaller competitors.

Private Labeling: A Double-Edged Sword with Glittering Rewards

Private labeling offers retailers advantages such as full control over product customization and pricing, the freedom to establish their own brand identity, and the agility to adapt quickly to market trends or customer feedback, through a process where they sell products under their own brand name while a third-party manufacturer handles production.

Your Brand, Your Rules: The Customization Advantage

Private labeling offers an enticing balance of control and convenience for retailers. Here’s how it works: you sell products under your own brand name, but let a third-party manufacturer handle production. It’s like having a sumptuous cake without having to bake it yourself!

More than just stamping your logo onto products, private labeling allows you to dictate everything from quality standards to pricing. And there’s nothing tying you down to another brand’s reputation or marketing ideas, giving you total freedom to weave your unique story. This customization can be a powerful draw for savvy consumers who are becoming more price-conscious and less tied to established brands.

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Agile Adaptability: An Underappreciated Perk of Private Labeling

In addition to customization, the private label model offers agility. Need to tweak something based on market trends or customer feedback? No worries! You have the flexibility to pivot quickly without navigating the red tape that often comes with larger manufacturing companies.

Challenges in the Private Label Terrain

Despite its considerable advantages, private labeling isn’t free from potential pitfalls.

Doppelgänger Dilemma: A Hurdle Unique to Private Label Sellers

Among these challenges is the notorious “copycat” issue. It might seem clever to mimic popular packaging (especially when similar products sit side by side on shelves), but it can be legally problematic if consumers are misled into thinking they’re buying a different brand.2

Moreover, as private label brands grow in popularity and power, they could potentially squash competition. If a dominant retailer pushes out smaller competitors, we could end up with a monopsony – a situation where there’s only one buyer in town.

Ultimately, plunging into private labeling is like charting unknown waters—it’s exhilarating yet demanding. But isn’t that what makes any entrepreneurial endeavor thrilling? So strap in and keep your eyes peeled as we delve further into the intricate universe of private labels in our next sections!

Successful Private Labels in Action: The Everyday Brands You Know and Love

Companies like AmazonBasics, Kirkland Signature, and Dollar Shave Club have leveraged the power of private labeling for success in the retail world by engaging third-party manufacturers to produce high-quality goods at competitive rates, dominating production, pricing, and branding to achieve huge profit margins, and maintaining control over product quality and pricing while carving out unique brand personas.

Familiar Private Label Brands in Your Shopping Cart

Guess what? You’re more acquainted with private labels than you think! These undercover giants have stealthily claimed their spot in the retail world, subtly making appearances in your daily routine, often without you even realizing it. Let’s unmask a few stellar examples of successful private labeling.


Let’s meet the undisputed king of private labels – AmazonBasics. This is Amazon’s homegrown brand, skillfully leveraging the e-commerce titan’s worldwide influence. With a catalog spanning from batteries to kitchen utensils, there are few items that AmazonBasics doesn’t touch. 

By engaging third-party manufacturers to produce these uniquely branded products, Amazon has brilliantly mined the goldmine of private labeling, all while delivering high-quality goods at competitive rates.

Kirkland Signature

Say hello to Kirkland Signature – Costco’s pride in its private label portfolio. This brand offers everything from apparel and beauty products to cooking ingredients, all conveniently available at your neighborhood grocer. 

Costco harnesses the potential of private labeling to produce goods that rival – if not outshine – their branded peers, and offers them at a fraction of the cost. Kirkland Signature’s triumph underscores the huge profit margins retailers can achieve when they dominate production, pricing, and branding.

Dollar Shave Club’s Private Label Triumph

Finally, let’s cast some light on Dollar Shave Club’s impressive journey in private labeling. Originating as an internet-based subscription service for razors, this firm rapidly evolved into a comprehensive lifestyle brand featuring everything from bathing essentials to oral hygiene products. Dollar Shave Club exploited private labeling to maintain control over product quality and pricing while carving out a unique brand persona.

These real-life illustrations underscore how potent private labeling can be for developing a prosperous e-commerce venture. By zeroing in on specific markets and concocting enticing product descriptions adorned with high-resolution images, these companies have managed to distinguish themselves amidst an increasingly congested marketplace.

Launching Your Private Label Venture

To embark on a successful private label venture and establish an effective online store, one must carefully select a private label manufacturer that aligns with their brand vision, and then create a user-friendly e-commerce site, ensuring it not only serves as a sales point but also showcases their brand persona.

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Your Kick-Off Guide to a Private Label Venture

Before we plunge in, let’s ensure we’re in sync. A private label venture is akin to leading an orchestra – you champion your own brand name products, crafted by a third party. You call the tune while the maestros (manufacturers) play it.

Commencing a private label business may seem like an uphill task initially. Picture it as assembling IKEA furniture – puzzling at first with its myriad parts and cryptic instructions, but achievable with persistence and patience.

Selecting Your Private Label Manufacturer

Choosing your private label manufacturer is like selecting your ballroom dance partner. A wise choice ensures flawless execution; an imprudent one risks missteps.

This crucial decision can appear intimidating, but its significance can’t be overstated for your venture’s success hinges on it. Quality, production timelines, even branding potential, all pivot on this selection.

Remember that research here is paramount. Dedicate time to scrutinize potential manufacturers, pore over reviews, compare pricing, and ultimately align with one resonating best with your brand vision.

Prepping Your Online Store for Private Label Triumph

Post securing your manufacturing counterpart, it’s time to establish your virtual storefront. In our digital era, possessing an online store isn’t optional; it’s indispensable.

Creating an e-commerce site may seem daunting if tech isn’t your forte. But fear no more! User-friendly platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce simplify this process making it breezy as pie. They offer comprehensive templates and tools like payment gateways and customer service options – everything required for successful e-tail.

Bear in mind – your online store isn’t just a sales point; it’s also a platform to flaunt your brand persona and bond with customers. So contemplate how you wish to portray yourself online – what narrative do you want your brand to weave?

Wrapping It Up

Private labeling in e-commerce refers to a company manufacturing its own product and branding it under a retailer’s name, offering benefits like higher profit margins and control over branding, compared to white labeling which involves buying an existing product from another manufacturer and rebranding it, often resulting in higher initial costs and limited customization options.

E-commerce’s Next Big Wave: Launching Your Own Private Label

E-commerce is undergoing a thrilling makeover, with private labeling taking center stage. In simple terms, private labeling is when a company manufactures its own product, then brands it under a retailer’s name or logo. It’s becoming the hot new strategy for big retail and e-commerce players.

What’s triggering this private label frenzy? A glance at the benefits explains it all. For starters, private labels translate into bigger profit margins.3 You’re not shelling out cash for somebody else’s production costs. 

Plus, they offer unparalleled control over branding and customization. With a private label, you rule your brand kingdom – deciding who buys it, at what price, and in which markets. This level of exclusivity can drive prices up due to limited supply of these custom-branded items.

Interestingly enough, private label products are generally less expensive upfront but match the quality standards of their original manufacturers. For companies lacking brand recognition or established distribution channels, private labeling is an appealing springboard into the market. By 2020, over 100 US-based apparel manufacturers were offering private label programs for retail customers.

If you’re aiming to launch a new product or service without the burden of extra startup costs and want to cultivate your own customer base, consider hopping on the private labeling bandwagon. An added bonus? Sourcing private label inventory is less challenging than finding a specific manufacturer. This hands you total control over design, marketing, and distribution choices.

Conversely, there’s white labeling— buying an existing product from another manufacturer and branding it with a retailer’s name or logo. This model lacks exclusivity; your product could end up anywhere with no limitations but comes with higher initial manufacturing costs for non-exclusive stock products.

White labeling does present myriad design templates on their websites—less time designing unique aesthetics equals more time focusing on elements like marketing or retail distribution channels. However, customization options tend to be more limited than with private labeling.

In essence, both private and white labeling have their distinct roles in e-commerce’s evolving landscape based on your business ambitions and resources. If your strategy revolves around higher price points, private labeling might be your best bet thanks to its cost-effectiveness compared to white labeling. However, if reselling others’ products fits better with your plans then white labeling could be the way forward.

With these trailblazing business models leading the charge, e-commerce’s future looks brighter than ever!


Katie Devoe

Katie Devoe

Katie Devoe is an entrepreneur, educator, and cannabis thought leader. She has been a guest speaker at numerous conferences and developed the CannaCertified cannabis education platform.

• Cannabis and Hemp Enthusiast
• One of the first female business owners in the hemp and cannabis industry
• Co-founder of one of the largest and most established CBD manufacturers in the country
• Spent the past decade leading brands in the hemp and cannabis industry
• Developed a certification program
Connect with Katie on LinkedIn

Get a quote from Katie on your product idea today!

Katie Devoe

Katie Devoe

Katie Devoe is an entrepreneur, educator, and cannabis thought leader. She has been a guest speaker at numerous conferences and developed the CannaCertified cannabis education platform.

• Cannabis and Hemp Enthusiast
• One of the first female business owners in the hemp and cannabis industry
• Co-founder of one of the largest and most established CBD manufacturers in the country
• Spent the past decade leading brands in the hemp and cannabis industry
• Developed a certification program
Connect with Katie on LinkedIn

Get a quote from Katie on your product idea today!



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