What is a White Label e-Learning Platform?
Have you ever stayed at a Marriott or Hilton hotel and wondered how they could provide such great service and make soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion, too? Well, obviously they don’t. These are White Label products.
A White Label product is a product that is made by one company and sold with another company’s brand, logo and identity. This is done all the time by companies that want to offer a product that they don’t have the expertise to make.
Likewise, a White Label e-Learning Platform is a Learning Management System (LMS) created and maintained by a LMS provider that is branded for another company.
Why Use a White Label e-Learning Platform?
If you’re contemplating an extended enterprise LMS (or outward facing LMS) for use by your customers or the general public you will obviously want the site to reflect your company’s brand. Let’s face it, you’re offering this for a reason. And, you want your customers to know that they’re getting these courses from you – not your provider.
But, many trainers don’t realize that their in-house LMS can – and should! – be White Labeled, too. Their learner’s impression and comfort on the site will be affected by their familiarity with everything from colors, logos and layout to navigation and company speak.
Retail websites follow best practices in web design because their customers are more likely to spend time and money on a website that they are comfortable with. These same practices should apply to an LMS as well. An employee’s ability to learn will be greatly enhanced by a familiar and intuitive interface.
Create an Identity that is Consistent with your Brand
There are many points of interest on an LMS that can be enhanced with your company’s brand. A good provider should, at a minimum, offer the following:
- The URL, or Domain: Some LMS providers will have your learners go to the provider’s site to log in. Most will offer a co-branded URL along the lines of: http://”yourcompanyname”.”providerscompanyname”.com.
A true white label e-learning platform provider will allow you to use the URL of your choosing.
- The Theme, or Look and Feel: This includes logos, colors, language and, to some extent, layout. Here, you want to make sure the site seems like an integrated part of your brand. If you succeed here, your learners will feel at ease with the site and be able to completely focus on the coursework without distraction, no matter how subtle.
- The Login Page: The login page is the learner’s introduction to the site. Here, your company’s logo should be featured prominently on the page. Any imagery should adhere to your company’s style guides.
- Custom Pages: Quite often, you will find that you have need for a page that can’t be accommodated within the framework of the LMS. These may be pages that are only available to logged in users, or they may be landing pages that bring a user into the LMS.
- Personalized Emails: Most LMS’s will occasionally send emails to users for course registrations, webinar reminders, course completions or even password resets. These emails should be fully customized and have a custom reply-to email address.
- Branded Certificates: Certificates for completed and passed courses should also be branded for your company.
As you go through the process of building out your LMS, you will probably find other elements that need to be customized. A good LMS provider will work with you to make sure this is as painless a process as possible.
Choosing a White Label e-Learning Platform Provider
Not all e-learning platform providers will offer the ability to make all of these changes. Most offer very limited customization. When interviewing providers, make sure they can provide all of these services. Ask to see current client’s sites, and ask for references.
Many providers will add their name to the footer of the site. Quite often, they will add “Powered by…” before their name. If you are ok with this, that is fine. Though if you choose, you can ask to have it removed.
Once you are up and running, make sure to regularly check the site against your company’s branding strategy to make sure they are in alignment. Our dedicated team at KMI Learning, will help make sure that you’ve covered all your bases, and that you are up to date with the most current best practices.