More threads by Garrett Sussman

Mar 15, 2016
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White Label or Preferred Vendor: How To Approach Your Online Review SaaS Solution?

Your client is going to ruin everything.

You’ve worked hard to get them to where they are now. You’ve sent an army of customers their way. They’ve seen a dramatic increase in their sales and revenue. Because of your hard work and your client’s willingness to trust you.

But for one reason or another your client’s negative reviews are on the rise. Customers are leaving hostile, sometimes nasty reviews about your client.

Your hard work is fading away.

This disaster is a threat to your client’s survival and an implicit black mark on your portfolio. Like it or not, their failure reflects badly on you because they’re your client.

It’s completely unfair, I know.

Your client wants you to do something. They want a crisis management plan – something to stop the negative reviews. But they also want a way to eliminate the damage in the future.

You know enough about review management to be dangerous, but it’s not your core business. You may not be – but right now it feels like you’re in over your head.

You need help to dig your client out of this mess

A SaaS Online Review Management and Marketing tool can help you avoid a lot of unnecessary headaches. The question is, do you look for something you can white-label or go with the preferred vendor option?
Which one is right for you and your client?

The right solution gives you…

The ability to manage your business and your client relationships the way you need to. What does that mean?


  • Your agency is (or will be) a one stop shop
  • You’re bundling the white label product with your services
  • You’re bundling white labeled products with your products
  • You have a unique system, process or strategy you use with the products you’ve white labeled
  • You want your clients to have the ability to self manage their online review management and marketing while you act as a consultant

If you plan on giving your clients more help, service or support, white labeling is often the better choice. If clients need help, they come to you – you’re paid for your expertise.


  • You want to focus on your core business
  • You’re looking to sell online review management and marketing services, (where you’re doing the management) using a preferred vendor behind the scenes
  • You don’t want to give your clients full white label access.

Acting as a preferred vendor gives you the tools you need to manage your client’s reputation; the right solution gives you the tools you need without having to give clients full white label access. It’s not as transparent, but it doesn’t have to be if you’re providing A to Z support.

These options come with hidden problems

When you’re choosing between white labeling or acting as a preferred vendor two problems come into play.

As an agency there are two kinds of client relationships:

1. Constrained relationships. I have to stay with my agency.
2. Dedicated relationships. I want to stay with my agency.

Constrained relationships have some kind of economic moat, a competitive advantage that makes leaving painful for your clients. Think Coca-Cola’s secret recipe, Google’s search algorithm, Amazon’s One Click and Prime programs, etc.

Walking away from these providers tends to be very painful.

They’re an entrenched part of your life so losing them means you lose a lot of other significant benefits.

Dedicated relationships
on the other hand, last longer than pure constrained relationships. Think about the fanatical loyalty displayed by Apple, Harley Davidson and Tesla customers.

Relationship is the foundation. These customers believe in the company they support. There’s intimacy and closeness. These customers believe they’ll be protected, that the brands they follow will serve and take care of them.

While it’s ideal to have both, that may not be the case for you right now. Your client’s relationship with you and your agency should play a heavy role in the options you choose.

In this post, Andrew goes on to discuss the pros and cons of each solution and how to make that decision for your Agency. He also addresses how to communicate the choice to clients.

Discussion: Dedicated and Constrained relationships has become a big discussion point recently when it comes to SaaS Listing solutions. Is this an issues for ORMM SaaS solutions?

As an Agency, do your services lead to Dedicated Relationships with clients or Constrained Relationships?

Read the full post here.

Great article! Thanks Garrett!

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