My 6 Learnings from Rebranding that can save you time and money

Starting off with Rebranding and whitelabel.

I love shiny objects, buying too many – I admit. This experience was kind of a cold shower, where the vendor promised and did not deliver. Last year, Rebrandapps landed in my mailbox out of 6 different directions. I bought this Digitalkickstart program through Ben Adkins’ affiliate offer – I am a great fan from Ben because he comes time and again with a great bonus – most times, as valuable or more valuable as the product you are buying. This time, he offered a training how to deploy the Rebrandapps most effectively, with a great approach to trial use.

So, totally enthused, I dug into the Rebrandapps (sales page still here – not affiliate link). It comes with 4 different applications, that one can resell, under your own brand. It comes with four applications, that you can rebrand. It comes with a sales page (that you have to edit). Your dashboard allows you to  modify the payment settings, determine where you install the application, where you can add and delete customers. It also comes with a set of videos, where the presenter walks you through all the settings that have to be modified to make it “yours.”

The big promise in the sales letter is that the customers can have a monthly, quarterly, annually, and a one-off option, where the client can buy the package and install it on their own server.

RBA_Dashboard_-_2016-06-26_1727

I decided to start with tickethub – since I needed a ticketing function, this seemed a no brainer. I looked into the competition as well. e.g. what does Zendesk offer? Would it be interesting for the customer?  The one-off option is hardly offered – so that could distinquish me in the market.

First step: Rebrand and install the application on your server.

So I created my own logo for Xiberdesk,and put that into the dashboard. I put in my Stripe information, created the pricing levels so I could be paid. After that, I put the application on my Godaddy host, and mapped the domain to it: www.xiberdesk.com. So far so good.

Second step: Change the sales letter.

Then I got really grainy and started to modify the sales letter. It comes as an html page that you can edit. Obviously, there is the original logo all over the place. That meant changing 15 images and put the logo in there. Not a trivial feat – these pictures are many times in some 3D shape (box, screen) so you have to change the perspective of your logo to make it fit. Totally underestimated that work – now I am an expert in Adobe Illustrator! You judge for yourself – www.xiberdesk.com/offer. After all that, I was very content with myself – and got distracted by a consulting job, so let it be – not driving any traffic to it.

The Big Surprize (Böse Überraschung) as they say in German.

I picked things up in May this year – eager to get some incomes from my assets. Going through the sales letter (as it is now on the site) I read it again, and go and look how the “one-off” is going to work. Cannot find anything in the training videos. The customer training video (1 for the buyers) talks about setting up their email piping, however there is not 2nd video. I contact the Digitalkickstart helpdesk (clearly not tickethub) and get a far-sourced answer that there is no  second video. Strange.

Next I review the sales letter again. Did I miss something? Not really: (click the picture, if you are interested)

Sales_letter_promise_-_2016-06-26_1756

at 7:26 Mark Thompson is very clear – customer downloads software and put it on their own server. So I hit up the Digitalkickstart helpdesk again. First response: Ah, sorry, that is a mistake in the sales letter. Then, after pressing on I get escalated to Mark Thompson, who simply states:

“Hi Xiber,
Sorry for the confusion.  That means that you can install it on your server and allow your clients to access the app from there.

Support.”

I wrote back that I felt screwed, and that I feel they have been overselling and underdelivering.
–  I have to change the sales letter and concept. No more “one-off and you can run it safely on your own servers” story!?
– I have to compete in a different market, with far more competition (zendesk, for instance is cheap for small operations)
– Suddenly the application becomes far more of a liability.
– I know they have all the disclaimers in there about possible profit, but this is really borderline and hardly ethical to sell a story with a different product.
Of course, I never heard anything back.
Goes without saying I never tried the other 3 apps. Just to find out more surprises? No thank you.

My 5 Key Learnings from the Rebrandapps experience.

My learnings from this experience – do not believe what you are told – Check your fingers after shaking hands with the seller!

  1. Check the goods as soon as you get them, at least within the 30day money back phase. After buying hundreds of products, I recognize a pattern in Internet Marketing: You sell the product, and then create it. When  the customer complains, you get, like in my case – “sorry for the confusion” – tough luck. message.
  2. Check whether what is on the tin, is also in the tin. In a recent case last week, where I bought a $300 OTO2, I got first a “there are videos in the advanced training area.” (which were videos from an older product that one of the sellers sell separately in the past – far away from the sales letter promise.  After pressing on I got a “hold on – be patient, we are uploading stuff”.  Now this product has a 60 day money back guarantee.
  3. Realize what you get and how much effort it is to get things changed and off the ground. Changing the graphics throughout a sales page is not trivial. I fully underestimated the effort in this case.
  4. Realize what you get into – from a service provision point of view. Assuming you get a series of customers for your application, on YOUR server – now suddenly you run a risk. What happens when the server goes down, or when the application crashes, and you lose all the data? Is that covered in your sales conditions? Do you have a back-up and restore strategy? What happens when the customer loses all their tickets? Oops, something they forgot to mention in the salesletter, even before they “confused you.”
  5. Realize that sales videos and paper do not have to tell the truth. I love copywriting myself – see my earlier blog – and finding the customer’s real problem and coming with the solution is an exiting activity. Companies like DigitalKickstart have or hire the best copywriters, and their sales letters are really slick. They are not all really true.
  6. When you go the whitelabel route (or the route where you get “distributor rights” the “Agency Upgrade”, establish who is hosting and maintaining the application.  Make sure it is not you.
  7. Look for vendors that you can trust. Some don’t tell you stories for fast money.

Contrast: Great Service from Ben Adkins.

A few weeks ago, in the Syndicate from Ben Adkins I shared my experience with Rebrandapps and Digitalkickstart. Ben wanted to know more. He is a guy that stands behind his words “I have your back covered”. He wanted to know the details of how things went. He paid me back the price I paid for Rebrandapps, “because it did not work out for me.” Now, that is going beyond anything I have seen ever before. I did not expect that, and he did not have to do that. I will spend that money with him, I know, in the future, because his products are simply excellent. As to DigitalKickStart – I will keep checking my fingers – and see whether they are still there after the sale!

Survey Tools – more shiny objects… that disappoint.

I wanted to attached a little survey to get your inputs.  Thought I use another piece of software I could not resist buying, Quizzfunnels. However, forget it. It is not a survey tool, just a tickbox funnel tool, and cannot take open answer.   Then moved to a bonus I got with Adsviser – WP Iask. Regrettably, that does not work either – so I ended up wasting a lot of time chasing helpdesks. Nobody really is interested in servicing bulk bonus tools…

Let me know about your experiences in the comment box below.

Yours,

Richard de Laat

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