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Imprint definition

Publish (© kebox /

Publish (© kebox /

An imprint in business is a smaller ‘sub-business’ or a secondary brand that a company can use in order to promote its goods. Understanding how to use an imprint can greatly help a business to manage its reputation and image and to craft the perfect brand.

The term imprint is used most commonly in the publishing industry. Book publishers will often have ‘imprints’ which allows them to market more than one type of book to more than one type of person, without creating mixed messages. While the term is generally a publishing one however, it can nevertheless be applied to a wide range of different businesses in order to achieve the very same benefits.

Why a Publisher Might Need an Imprint

Let’s say that you’re a publishing company that mainly prints technical books about business. You have built up a reputation for yourself in that niche and many people that need that kind of information now consider you as their ‘go to source’.

But then you get a programming book proposal. It doesn’t quite fit the subject matter that you normally cover, it doesn’t quite fit the niche that you’ve carved out for yourself. After all, many of the books that you’ve published so far are more interested in engineering, business management or leadership.

So, what do you do? Simple: you create a new imprint. This imprint can then either be related to your business in name, or it can be its own standalone entity. So for instance, your company might be called ‘BizBooks’ and you might call your imprint ‘BizBooks Tech’. Or alternatively, you could give it a completely original name and call it ‘CoderBooks’.

Which you choose will depend on how you want to go ahead and market the books. Are you going to try and sell these titles to your established readerbase? Perhaps you might rely a little on your existing contacts and the reputation you’ve built up. On the other hand though, you might worry that giving your new imprint a similar name will just confuse your current audience and muddy the waters. Perhaps you plan on largely targeting entirely new audiences?

For Other Businesses

If your company is not a publisher, you can still benefit from a similar approach to segmenting your businesses. For instance, this will often happen when one company acquires another. In this case, the latter company might keep its current name but simply become a subsidiary of a holding company.

In this way, brands are treated very much like assets and are very separate from the businesses themselves.

For instance, Microsoft acquired Nokia a short while back and used the company to manufacture Windows phones. After a while, it became apparent that this business model wasn’t working and so the company returned to making Android phones by outsourcing the Nokia license to a company called HMD.

So, the phones are now made by HMD, called Nokia but owned by Microsoft! This is how the world of branding works and it makes it very clear how these decisions are built around the marketing potential of different names, moreso than the reality of who ‘owns’ who.


Press releases

Extensive Analysis on Imprint Market 2019 by Technology, Segments and Top Companies Analysis- Imprint Analytics GmbH, Digital & Design, City SF, IMPRINT N PACK, Imprint Art Services, and Forecast Research 2025
Imprint Market 2019 Global Industry Research report provides a comprehensive, statistical and in-depth analysis of the Imprint Market size, growth, trends, share, segmentation, production and forecast from 2019-2025. It includes in-depth information of the market growth factors, different driving factors and cost structure of the market. Get Sample Copy of this
New Glass Mug with Digital Photo Imprint
FotoInsight prints digital images onto customised mugs and other well inspired gift ideas Cambridge, 17 Sep 2007. A novelty mug made of frosted glass with a coloured photo imprint broadens FotoInsight’s range of personalised photo mugs. Online photo services like FotoInsight turn a digital image into a personal gift, which preserves
BREAD & BUTTER presents: the Imprint Culture Lab
On October 1st 2008 the international conference on global creative culture, the Imprint Culture Lab, will once again take place in Los Angeles, California. This years’ main sponsor: BREAD & BUTTER – the leading tradeshow for street- and urban wear! With this unique engagement, BREAD & BUTTER teams up with Imprint
New Delhi: 20th September 2011: Spice Digital Limited, one of India’s leading MVAS (Mobile Value Added Services) companies, announced the launch of their two most winning services- Mobile Radio and Voice Chat, in the Kingdom of Cambodia, today. This is yet another successful venture into the international space by Spice
Burning Soul Press Announces Launch of Sister Imprint, DreamSpark Press
Burning Soul Press is proud to announce the launch of DreamSpark Press, a sister imprint of the company. DreamSpark Press is a publisher of children’s books written by soulful and impact-driven authors that have an empowering and uplifting message to share with young readers. DreamSpark Press guides children's book authors through