Why you need a single source of brand truth.

In the concept of Single Source of Truth or SSOT, any and every piece of information should be editable in only one place. Any sharing or distribution of this “master” record should be a read-only link or reference directly from the master. The goal of SSOT is preventing multiple versions of something, which can make it difficult or impossible to know which is the correct or most current.

SSOT is critical in industries that manage and protect historical data, like government agencies, healthcare providers, and educational institutions. It’s become more important in marketing, particularly digital and mobile. Product images, specifications, and offers need to be shared with literally thousands of different online vendors, and these all need to be current and accurate.

For brand managers, an SSOT approach can solve some of the biggest challenges around maintaining consistency, and efficiently creating new materials. Using brand management technology to implement a single source of truth for your brand also provides other useful benefits that you can’t get any other way. 

A Brand Center or Digital Asset Management (DAM) system can be a single source of truth for your creative production assets, like product images, brand logos, descriptions and specifications, among others. By making these resources only available for download from a single location like a Brand Center or DAM, it becomes a single source of truth for these materials. Users have to download these resources from the designated location, which means you know who has accessed the materials, 

If you implement an SSOT solution for your creative assets, you should do the same for your brand standards. The old habits around brand guidelines meant people had their own copy of the standards, either in print form (in the 80s and 90s), or more recently in PDF files. The problem with this approach is users never know if or how the standards have changed, or if their copy is out of date. Moving to online brand standards, where users access a website rather than open a saved PDF, means they always have the most current specifications, references, and details. Many technology platforms offer ways to provide a SSOT for both assets and standards, in one system.

For brand managers, the unexpected benefit of using technology to implement a single source of brand truth for your brand and marketing materials is it provides a single source of truth for them, around how those materials are being used. Because all of the access goes through a single platform, managers can see which resources are the most and least popular, who are the most active users, and what types of things do people want more of. It becomes a sort of feedback loop, where you can provide more materials and information to your marketing community, and then study how the activity changes based on that. It helps you understand more of what marketers need to be more effective, and to know if what you’re providing is helping or not.

If you’re interested in seeing how a single source of brand truth can help you create more effective, consistent brand experiences…


Helping create, manage, and deliver brands from start to finish.

In collaboration with Bluebird Branding