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USB Card e-books

Posted by USB2U on 24th April 2015 | Permalink

They may only make up a very, very small proportion of e-book sales but if you can get your hands on one they might be worth hanging onto for collector value if nothing else.

To be fair most of the USB Card e-books that we see (or produce and supply) at the moment seem to be used as part of the PR campaign to launch the books. The cards are printed up with the book sleeve and an electronic copy of the book is pre-loaded onto the card before being handed out to reviewers, journalists etc.

Of course the books could be downloaded from the Internet but if you want to distribute copies of the book before the public release date and you don’t want to go to the trouble is setting up secure website with logins and download options etc. then the USB cards are a good way of controlling the books distribution. You can’t stop the book being “uploaded” onto a public sharing site but that’s a risk however you distribute digital copies of anything!

e-books on USB cards

e-books on USB Cards

There is a real novelty factor to e-books being supplied for review this way and if they’re posted out its significantly cheaper to pop a very thin (2mm card) into a standard letter envelope than pay for a package post.

The opportunity for e-books is not just limited to works of fiction. Arguably the concept lends itself better to the supply of complex technical manuals, large product catalogues where significant amounts of data are often needed (much of which could be complimented by videos and presentations).

A classic example was an International TV brackets manufacturer who every year posted out a hard copy of their new brochure and distributor/re-seller prices lists across Europe. Because of the weigh of the catalogue the shipping costs alone were £10 per brochure. They didn’t want to put everything “on-line” preferring instead to send something tangible – moving to a USB Card that was pre-loaded with the catalogue saved them 80% of their costs.

With around 32GB of memory available on some of the larger capacity USB cards the amount of information you can include in an e-book is staggering! The trick to think outside of the box and come up with innovative ways to take full advantage of the flash storage on offer. Don’t worry about the grunt work of loading the data on the USB cards because your USB memory stick supplier will take care of this for you and most won’t charge if you get your data files to them early enough in the order process.

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Just like the kids TV classic Play School we use Square, Round & Triangle shapes

Posted by USB2U on 23rd April 2015 | Permalink

If you can remember the opening sequence from the 1960 and 1970’s BBC TV classic Play School (“Here’s a house, here’s a door. Windows: 1 2 3 4, ready to knock? Turn the lock – It’s Play School”) then you’re probably more interested in the latest government changes to pensions schemes than keeping abreast of the changes in the promotional USB memory stick market.

The TV show made great use of the basic shapes like triangles, squares, circles and one key segment of the show asked the children to guess which “window” the they would go through to watch a feature filmed outside of the studio. The underlying premise was to get the children used to recognising and understanding shapes and how they featured in everyday life.

These same shapes feature heavily in the range of USB cards that we offer at USB2U. Whilst the most popular card option remains the credit card shaped USB card we have seen a marked increase in the demand for square, circle and triangle cards!

USB-Cards---Different-Style

USB-Cards—Different-Style

The cards are a popular choice not least because we can print in full colour on both sides of the card and the print can be full bleed right to the edge of the card. Because of this the cards offer a much larger print area to work with meaning complex “photo quality” images can be re-produced with ease.

The different shapes lend themselves to different uses. For examples we’ve printed the squares in to represent food packaging and condom packs, the circles to make them look like classic vinyl records (very cool) and the triangles to look like a piece of chocolate confectionary (Toblerone).

USB Circle Cards - Costa Coffee

USB Circle Cards – Costa Coffee

All of the cards are just 2mm thick (roughly the same thickness as a credit card) and they come with high quality flash memory up to 32GB (which is X4 times the amount of storage you get on most Apple iPhone C’s).

If you opt for the Credit Card shape then we can supply these with a printed leather wallet!

Irrespective of which shape you choose you can be assured they’ll make a great impact when handed out and don’t forget if you do want to pre-load your own files onto the USB shapes before you hand them out then we can take care of the tedious job of data-loading them for you!

 

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3,000 Reviews for USB2U on Trustpilot

Posted by USB2U on 21st April 2015 | Permalink

We’re just about to break through 3,000 reviews on the independent 3rd party review site Trustpilot. To say we’re chuffed would be an understatement. Not only have we amassed these reviews in just a couple of years but our overall our rating is 9.7 (out of a maximum of 10) with a narrative score of “Excellent”.

Understandably not every customer has the time or the inclination to leave a review but for everyone that has we’d like to say a huge “Thank you”. We appreciate you are not compelled to review the service you’ve had from us and we know it takes time to do it which makes it all the more gratifying when customers make the effort to leave a review.

The design, manufacture and supply of promotional USB memory sticks is a highly competitive market so we encourage companies looking to place an order for custom USB’s or USB sticks with their logo printed (or engraved) onto them to look beyond just price and consider the overall level of service provided by the company that you’ve got a quote from. It’s all well and good shaving a couple of pennies off the price of our sticks but if the service you get is poor and the end products are poorly produced it’s your brand and reputation that will suffer because it’s your brand is printed on the USB sticks.

At USB2U we have always focused on providing a top quality service coupled with highly competitive prices. We’ve been supplying USB sticks since 2003, we know the market incredibly well and we know what products work with what types of brands and logos. Ours is a consultative approach where we work with our customers to really understand their needs, we then make a recommendations based on these and we work up a range of designs/mock-ups to illustrate what can be achieved. Tweaking and amending artwork is not a problem, handling the data-loading of files is just part of what we do and keeping our customer informed throughout the whole process right up until we deliver the finished job is fundamental to what we do.

If you’re looking for a trusted and proven UK supplier of promotional USB memory sticks then we hope you’ll give us a chance to work with you. Hopefully, if you like what we’ll do you’ll join the other 3,000 customers and post a review of our service on Trustpilot.

USB2U and relax

Choose USB2U and Relax -you’re in safe hands!

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It’s F-F-F-Friday – Order your USB Sticks Today for Delivery Monday

Posted by USB2U on 17th April 2015 | Permalink

If you’ve been meaning to order some USB memory sticks with your logo printed on them this week but other things kept getting in the way then don’t despair because at USB2U we can turn around orders on the same day!

With thousands of blank USB memory sticks in stock (across a wide range of designs and colours) and our own in-house design and print teams we are one of the very few companies in Europe that can accept an order in the morning, proof it, print it and then dispatch it the very same day. So, as today is a Friday you could order your printed USB memory sticks this morning and have them delivered Monday morning (we could even get them to you for Saturday if you’re around to take delivery of them!)

You’ll pay a small premium for our “rush” service but if you really do need you sticks quickly then it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind. By

getting your USB sticks designed and printed in the UK you de-risk everything. There will be no exposure to international shipping delays, no exposure to ordering from an overseas company only to find your money is taken and nothing turns up and of course by buying locally if things do go wrong (as they very occasionally do) then getting a resolution is much easier.

At USB2U we design and print tens of thousands of USB sticks in the UK every week. Over the last 4-5 years we have invested heavily in our in-house design and print capabilities and the response from our customers to the range of rush services we offer has been amazing. A significant number of the 5 star reviews we get on Trustpilot (a 3rd party review service) relate to “rush” orders and as much as anything its because customers are blown away by the quality of their orders, the service they get and the sheer speed at which we deliver their order.

What marks us out from our competitors is the range of stock we carry and can print. Lots of companies offer a standard black twister flash drive but these don’t always work with the logo being printed on them and they can to be candid look a bit bland and boring. We can typically offer at least 20 different designs and we also offer the option of printed boxes to go with them (all in the same timescales).

Have a great Friday and remember if you need your promotional USB memory sticks on Monday then give us a call.

USB Flash Drives in a Hurry

USB Flash Drives in a Hurry

 

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10 Good Reasons Why You Should Buy Printed USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 16th April 2015 | Permalink

Despite the continued growth in use of cloud based data storage services you can’t escape the fact that USB memory sticks are everywhere these days. Long gone are the dominant days of the CD and DVD. USB memory sticks are now the most popular way to save, store and carry data files. They remain a key business tool for many and they continue to play an important role in the daily life of hundreds of thousands of students.

The rise to dominance has not been quick. The first commercially available memory sticks hit the market back in 2002 and the first generation used the original USB 1.0 standard, they had a typical storage capacity of 16MB and they were typically boring, rectangular “lumps” of plastic – the focus then was on functionality and not design.

Skip forward 13 years and today USB sticks (or flash drives as some people prefer to call them) have evolved into a much more sophisticated product that is available in thousands of different styles, designs, colours. More fundamentally they use the latest USB 3.0 standards, they are fast and by comparison to the first generation products they carry HUGE amounts of data – basic models now have storage capacities of 4GB or 8GB but 256GB are available.

In the midst of all of this development and market growth Memory sticks have also become incredibly popular promotional giveaways. Here are just a few reasons why:

1.     Brand development and brand exposure – Branded USB Memory sticks are a fantastic way to get your brand in front of an existing or potential customer. They’re a popular product and people just like being given them

2.     Content delivery – With the vast amounts of storage on offer they are a great way to deliver content. The data can be passive (PDF files for example) which the user would need to click on to view or interactive for a more immersive experience.

3.     Keepsakes – Branded USB Memory sticks make excellent ‘keepsakes’ and there is a high probability that users will save their own information onto them thus making them a valuable asset with high-perceived value.

4.     They’re pretty cheap to buy – The cost of flash memory (the heart of any USB stick onto which the data is saved) has fallen dramatically over the past few years. As a result USB memory sticks have become a more attractive promotional option for many. If you buy in bulk they’ll cost less than £2 per stick (printed and with data loaded)

5.     There are now thousands of designs and styles to choose from and if none of the “standard” shapes are suitable its relatively easy to get a fully customised (bespoke) solution, you just need to build in a couple of extra weeks into the lead time and be prepared to pay a little more for them.

6.     Fast delivery – delivery times are now as little as 24hrs, which includes the printing of a logo so if you are pushed for a branded solution/gift in a hurry they might be suitable.

7.     The minimum order quantity for fully printed/customised USB drives is only 25 pieces.

8.     CD / DVDs are now seen as old hat and are a technology that few companies now want to associate their brand with whereas USB memory sticks are seen a new, innovative, and to some degree “sexy” and are the “new kids on the block”

9.     The technology that USB memory sticks are built on is well established and is highly reliable.

10.  There are lots of suppliers of branded USB memory sticks in the market today so they are relatively easy to source and the increased competition has kept prices low and quality high.

 

USB2U - Your Trusted Supplier of USB Memory Sticks

USB2U – Your Trusted Supplier of USB Memory Sticks

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The Sun Has Got its Hat on – USB Fans to the fore

Posted by USB2U on 15th April 2015 | Permalink

Hands up how many people will be complaining today that it’s too hot in their office or workplace. We’re a fickle lot us British. Lots of us are going to be blessed with another day of gorgeous weather and soaring temperatures but instead of rejoicing in the amazing weather lots of us will take this early opportunity to moan that it’s “too hot”!

With the mercury set to rise to a 25C (77F) in the South East it means we’ll be basking in temperatures higher than Rome, Marseille, Athens and Madrid. Only those lucky enough to be off work or able to escape early will really benefit though. For the rest the excitement of great weather and brilliant sunshine is likely to be tempered by how good the air-conditioning is in your work place. Let’s face it no one like to be sitting in an office or on a train sweating or equally being subjected to colleagues that are sweating and struggling with the heat.

Of course these days more and more building and vehicles are fitted with air-conditioning units but these are expensive, they tend to dry the air out and if they’re public or office units they cool the air to a temperature that someone else has prescribed as being a “suitable temperature” and this can often be too cold or too hot.

 

USB Fans

Promotional USB Fans

An alternative option is to use good old-fashioned fans. They don’t cool the air (or dry it out) in the same way that air-conditioning units do but they do make things much more bearable and pleasant. The added benefit of using fans is that they are typically small enough to control a personal space so you can be completely in charge of how they are used.

In offices where most people use a PC a simple solution is to give everyone a USB fan. These simply plug into any spare USB port (no batteries or additional main power is needed) and they can be directed as the user sees fit. They’re quiet, easy to use and they can be branded with a logo or design.

If they are printed with a brand or logo then because the fans are typically directed towards the face the user the brand will get loads of exposure as the fan is used. At only a couple of pounds each (branded) they make a really cost effective promotional gift and they’re usually really well received.

At USB2U we carry thousands of USB fans in stock and can get them branded up for you and delivered in a matter of days!

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Election Uncertainty Drives USB Stick Prices Higher

Posted by USB2U on 14th April 2015 | Permalink

The financial markets don’t like uncertainty and the forthcoming UK General Election on the 7th May 2015 is looking so close that uncertainty is the only one thing that is certain! The recent reports of a slowdown in the UK economy haven’t helped and the one big loser is the Pound (GBP), which has continued to slide against the Dollar (USD).

Today the Pound has slipped to $1.465, it’s lowest level against the Dollar since May 2010 – it is now trading 15% lower than it was less than a year ago.

For the Promotional USB Memory Stick market this is a painful time. All USB sticks are manufactured in China and the factories that sell them to the rest of the world expect to be paid in US Dollars. Consequently, the fall of the Pound against the Dollar effectively means that prices have gone up by around 15% in the last year! Worryingly it looks as though the trend is set to continue right up until the results of the election are known – even then there is no certainty that the Pound will recover so months or uncertainty lie ahead.

 

USB Memory Stick Prices Rise on Back of Scottish Election Worries

USB Memory Stick Prices Rise on Back of Scottish Election Worries

If you need to buy promotional USB memory sticks now then it’s just a question of “sucking it up” and getting your order placed. There’s little point in speculating what may or may not happen over the next few weeks and if you leave things too late then you’ll either miss your deadline or you’ll end up paying lots more for a rush order of printed USB sticks that are finished in the UK rather than in China!

The daily fluctuations in the value of the Pound against the Dollar are why you see so few companies posting firm prices for printed flash drives on their websites – competition in this market is fierce, margins are slim and putting prices on a website (unless they are changed daily and reflect the movements in the currency exchange market) is a recipe to lose money.

The best advice is to get a few quotes from some of the market leaders, check how long the price is valid for (typically it’s about 3 days) and then check when you’re expected to pay for your order (some companies ask for full payment with the order, some ask for 50% and some, like USB2U, only ask for payment when your order when your USB sticks have been produced and it is ready to ship).

If you can wait until the elections are over and hopefully some calm returns to the market then this “might” be the best course of action but there’s no guarantee. It all depends on who wins and how the markets react to the results.

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We’ve got USB Gift boxes fully covered

Posted by USB2U on 8th April 2015 | Permalink

Innovation in the gift box space continues apace and no more is this evident than in the gift box (or keepsake) sector for Professional Photographers. Even for those enlightened photographers that have already made the move from CD/DVD to USB sticks it’s not enough to simply stand back and admire your work. No, you need to keep on pushing, you need to keep on challenging yourself and your suppliers, you need to differentiate and increasingly you need to add value to the packages you offer to your clients.

It’s a dog eat dog market with lots of competition and whilst the “superstar photographers” at the top end of the market rarely have gaps in their bookings for the mere mortals of the professional photography world life can be a little more challenging. Digital cameras and easy to use editing software packages are a double-edged sword – yes, they make it easier to take great photographs and manipulate them but they lower bar for everyone. There are now lots of “keen amateurs” entering the business who’ll offer a wedding shoot or portfolio session for peanuts and of course with little in the way of overheads it’s increasingly difficult to compete with them.

 

Gift Boxes from USB2U

Full Print USB Gift Boxes

The trick is to focus on your art, to let your images and clients do the talking. Brush up your skills, buy the best kit you can afford and spend time understanding how to really get the best from it.

Get a brilliant website built and understand how to optimise the website when its built. Spend time on Social Media, build up a following on Facebook, encourage and participate in dialogue, encourage reviews on 3rd party review websites, post images to Flickr, Pinterest and Instagram. Blog, yes, blog, write about yourself, express your personality off the page, and do it on a regular basis.

USB Pine Gift Box

Pine Gift Box with full colour print to lid

Get close to the best local wedding venues and get them to endorse your work and add you to their list of recommended professional photographers. Enter the industry competitions, challenge yourself, push yourself and just to anything you can to get known, get endorsed and get recommended.

In terms of differentiating your offer you could look to add some of the latest printed wooded gift boxes that were launched by USB2U at the 2015 Photography Show. These can be purchased on their own or bought as a bundle with a matching USB stick. The latest innovation with these boxes is the full colour print to the whole surface are of the box lid. The results (as you can see from these examples) are stunning and will really help to lift your proposition.

At USB2U we’ve got packaging for professional photographers covered!

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How to get the most from your Promotional USB Memory Stick Budget

Posted by USB2U on 2nd April 2015 | Permalink

With sales of promotional USB memory sticks continuing to show no signs of slowing it’s obvious that companies large and small understand the benefits of using them as a give away. If you’re about to join in the fun and you’ve started looking for your own USB sticks with your company logo printed on them then you’ve probably got a reasonable idea of how much you want to spend on them.

In terms of making sure you get the “best bang for your buck” when sourcing them you can either pursue a strategy of getting the largest number of USB sticks your budget will buy or, you can embark on a plan to make sure that your giveaways make the greatest impact possible.

If you go for volume (and lots of companies do) then you’re probably just looking for something cheap and cheerful that you can hand out at a show or at strategic locations where your target customers can be found. A real example of this approach is Barratt Homes who handed out thousands of USB sticks at two Tube stations in London. The tube stations were adjacent to their new housing development and just “blanket bombed” the stations over a couple of days and targeted commuters – the USB sticks they handed out were printed with details of the housing development and they were pre-loaded with the sales brochures, floor plans and prices of the apartments they were trying to sell.

Cheap Printed USB Memory Sticks

Cheap Printed USB Memory Sticks

The primary objective in this scenario was to get the USB sticks into the hands of as many people as possible. So, they opted for the cheapest design (the Twister) with the smallest amount of memory needed to pre-load their documents onto. To keep the print costs down they only printed in 1 colour and finally they wanted the sticks delivered in “bulk” with no outer packaging – this not only reduced the manufacturing costs but the reduced weight and bulk reduced the overall shipping, storage and handling costs. They were not interested in the recipients keeping and using the USB sticks over and over again their principal objective was just to market their apartment and push their brand.

Whilst this approach was fine for Barratt Homes it’s not necessarily the right approach for everyone. If, for example, you’re trying to encourage journalists to write about a new product or the launch of a new service or you’re targeting executives at a conference or seminar then you’re best to use your budget to buy a smaller number of “top-end” USB sticks with lots of memory and bags of style or alternatively you might even want to commission your own fully bespoke (custom) USB sticks.

Top-end USB sticks include USB writing pens or USB stylus pens that also double up as a USB memory sticks – these products exude quality and get incredibly positive feedback but they’re too expensive to use a “give-aways” to random prospects. Custom USB sticks are, as the name suggests, designed and manufactured exclusively for one customer and are typically manufactured in the shape of one of their “hero” products.

Squeezing the most from your budget depends on what your underlying objectives are; if you want quantity then go with the budget ranges, choose smaller memory sizes, print just 1 colour on one side get your USB sticks supplied in Bulk (with no packaging). But, if you want to make an impact or you have high-end clients to build a relationship with then sacrifice numbers and go for quality or, in an ideal world, get your own Custom USB sticks commissioned.

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Reviews of USB2U Push Towards 3,000 on Trustpilot

Posted by USB2U on 31st March 2015 | Permalink

Confidence is one of the key factors when you’re buying from a company that you deal with over the Internet. Confidence that you’re in safe hands, confidence that you’ll actually get what you ordered and in time for when you need them and confidence that should things go wrong (as they occasionally do) that the company is able and willing to front up and deal with the issues.

Of course it’s not unheard of for companies to exaggerate claims about their capabilities to stretch the truth a little or to flat out lie about what the quality of what they are selling and to avoid dealing with any post sales issues or queries that might arise.

In an age when a great looking website can be thrown up in a matter of hours/days its relatively easy for anyone to claim they are the “greatest” supplier, that they have “thousands of satisfied customers” and that they can deliver top quality products in a matter of days. But, should you trust everything you read on a companies own website and take it as fact?

Printed Twister USB Sticks

Printed Twister USB Sticks

Before you place any order for promotional products (like branded USB memory sticks) that are going to carry your brand and logo on them we’d strongly advocate that you try and validate some of the comments claimed on the companies website that you plan to buy from. It’s one thing having a bad Internet shopping experience when you’re buying something for yourself but trusting your company’s brand and reputation to a 3rd party based purely on what they say about themselves is to put it mildly “a little risky”.

The Internet not only enables the little start up companies to compete with the bigger boys BUT more fundamentally it gives a strong voice to customers to share their shopping experiences (good and bad) with other prospective customers. Just as you’d use a site like Trip Advisor to review a hotel or holiday company before you make a booking we’d strongly advocate using 3rd party review sites like Trustpilot to see what customers are saying about suppliers of products like branded USB memory sticks.

Arguably such review sites (providing there is a critical mass of reviews and providing they are recent) are a safer way to gauge the capabilities of a company to deliver against their promises.

At USB2U we strongly encourage all of our customers to review the service they’ve received from us on Trustpilot. We already have around 2,9000 reviews and we expect to smash through 3,000 reviews in the next couple of weeks. So, if you’re thinking of ordering your branded flash drives from us then don’t just take our word for how good our service is check out what thousands of customers are saying – we’re currently ranked as “Excellent” with a trust score of 9.7 out of 10.

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