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Ten Is the Magic Number for Professional Photographers

April 7th, 2014

Like lots of our competitors the minimum order for printed USB memory sticks has always been twenty five (25) but the feedback we were given at The Photography Show in Birmingham was so supportive of our “show offer” that we have now decided to reduce our minimum order quantities. From today all of the discounted USB bundles and packages of our USB2U photography web site have been had their minimum order quantities reduced to ten (10)!!

So, if you’re a professional photographer, wedding photographer or videographer and you’ve been thinking of making the switch from CD’s and DVD’s but you’ve been out off by the level of upfront commitment you needed to make to buy 25 USB sticks and boxes then this is going to be good news.

Starting today you can get yourself ten fully personalised USB sticks and ten personalised USB gift boxes to go with them for around £100! That includes all of the artwork set-up costs, the printing (or engraving), custom inserts for the USB sticks and delivery by Royal Mail Special Delivery.

You can choose from six different bundles including our very popular wooden USB sticks and wooden USB gift boxes or you might opt for our USB cards with the option of a leather wallet or a printed gift box.

Whichever “bundle” you choose you’ll be getting upgraded (high performance) USB sticks that we assemble specifically for professional photographers – these ensure a higher read/write speed, more read/ write cycles (a longer life) and they all come with a ten year warranty. We print/engrave all of our sticks in the UK so the lead time for any order is normally just a few days (depending on how busy we are).

The feedback from photographers to our range of bundles has been amazing:

A perfect job with perfect service

Having used simple DVDs to provide clients with high res files in the past I had it in the back of my mind that I should present them with something a little more refined. I’ve found that in USB2U, the customised memory sticks I’ve just received have blown me away and the feedback from clients just from posting an image of the sticks to facebook has been amazing. Don’t hesitate order some today! (Russell Lewis Photography)

A very efficient service from start to finish and great communications every step of the way.

I found USB2U very easy to deal with and they provided clear instructions and guidance where necessary – I had seen their website a year or so ago, but since the introduction of their ‘professional photographers’ section on their website, it has greatly improved my ability to present digital images to my clients and brings image and video presentation up to date. With quality in mind, the processing chips are uprated to make sure that my professional products are made to last. (Taylors Photographic)

Innovative stylish products, great quality with fast efficient and friendly service.

Had the chance to view the woodland style USB drives in wooden boxes at USB2U Stand at the Photography Show. Had been looking for a stylish way to present digital images to clients and this product is in a class of its own.  The little touches like the small magnets, to hold on the cap & sliding lid for the box, give that touch of class to what is a very elegant product. The team at USB2U where friendly, helpful and professional enabling the artwork processes to be achieved in a few hours and delivery was on time and as promised. A great experience all round (Andy Meany Photography )

USB2U Memory Sticks and Boxes for Taylors Photographic

USB2U Memory Sticks and Boxes for Taylors Photographic

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Ten Is the Magic Number for Professional Photographers

Branded USB Memory Sticks – It’s What We Do

April 2nd, 2014

If you’re looking for a supplier of branded USB memory sticks then please do add us to your short-list of possible suppliers. Branded USB memory sticks is what we do and we’ve been assembling, printing, engraving and data-loading them since we started the business back in 2002 (some 12 years ago!).

During this time we’ve supplied millions of USB sticks to tens of thousands of customers (large and small) and, the vast majority we’re delighted to say, stay with us and keep coming back for more. One of the most important aspects of any buyer/supplier relationship is “trust” and this is particularly true when you’re looking to buy a product that is customised to carry your brand and typically has to be delivered against an immovable “drop dead” date.

The point is that you need your USB supplier to deliver a good, high quality product that echoes all of the strengths and values that you have invested in your brand and importantly you you’re your supplier to delivery your USB sticks when you need them – no excuses.

We recognise of course that pricing is a major factor as well so the service and products we offer are priced to be amongst the most competitive you’ll find anywhere but importantly our prices are backed by a strong quality ethic, a determination to offer the service second to none and we also warrant our USB memory sticks for 10 years – so, if you have any problems with them (of any description) then we promise to replace them with new ones at our cost. This is not a hollow promise tossed out there by some company that is new to the market and feels they need to add this statement to compete with the more establish companies like USB2U- our promise is underpinned by our strong position in the market, our trading history and our financial stability.

For an indication of what our customers think of us take a look at the reviews we’ve received on TrustPilot – Trustpilot is an independent 3rd party review site that we’ve invited our customers to post to over the last 2 years. In this time we’re delighted that over 1,500 customers have taken time out of their busy schedules to review us and we’ve even more delighted that they’re rated our service as “Excellent” with an overall score of 9.7 out of 10!

So, if you’re looking for a trusted supplier of branded USB memory sticks give us a call – we’d love to hear from you.

USB2U - Trusted Supplier of Branded USB Memory Sticks

USB2U - Trusted Supplier of Branded USB Memory Sticks

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Branded USB Memory Sticks – It’s What We Do

USB Fan Enquires Coming In – Summer must be on the way

March 28th, 2014

From the depths of our office and warehouse we don’t need to be able to see out of the window (although that would be nice) to know that summer is on its way instead we can quite easily rely on the number of enquires coming in to USB2U for USB fans to gauge what the weather is doing (or about to do).

Maybe those making the enquiries have read the various reports in the press about Britain heading for our hottest summer yet. According to various publications weather experts are suggesting there is a 75% chance that over the next few months we’ll be bathed in Mediterranean-style temperatures! We’ve already had a couple of days this month where temperatures crept up to 20 degrees Celsius and whilst we’ve come back down to earth with a bump over the last few days expectations are that we’re in for a very long hot summer – bring it on!

USB Fans

Promotional USB Fans

Of course it’s not so great if you work in an office or study with little natural ventilation (you can’t open the windows in many offices) and you don’t have air-conditioning.  Your best bet in these circumstances is a fan and if you budget won’t run to the latest Dyson Bladeless Fans then you could go for a personal USB fan – these don’t need any batteries, they plug directly into any spare USB port on your PC (or Mac) and can be positioned to get the air flowing directly at you. The fans are 100% safe and they’re really quiet and unobtrusive.

If you’re a company looking for an “in your face” promotional gift for 2014 then you might want to get in early whilst we still have stock and order you USB fans now. We have thousands of them in stock in the UK but if you wait until the temperatures start rising then you might be disappointed as these fans have a habit of flying off the shelves every year when the mercury starts rising!

The fans can be branded with your logo (see the images below). The usual lead time from order is around 5-7 days but we can do turn them around a little quicker if you’re in a real hurry – just call us for prices and details of our rush service.

USB Fans from USB2U

USB Fans from USB2U

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USB Fan Enquires Coming In – Summer must be on the way

Marked for Life – Engraved USB Flash Drives

March 24th, 2014

If you’re paying to have your brand or logo on a USB flash drive then ideally you want that image to be permanent. You want it to be optimised for to the available print space on the drive and you want it to “wow” whoever you’re giving them out to. Any promotional USB flash drive that has your logo on is really an extension of your brand so it needs to be a product/finish that you are happy to associate with your brand. There can be no compromise, it has to be right and ideally it has to be right over the life of the USB stick.

For some companies getting the branding right means a slavish adherence to the companies branding guidelines and in turn this means that the company logo can only be reproduced in colour. Occasionally it will extend to the actual colour of the USB flash drive itself with this having to be pantone matched to one of the company’s primary brand colours (all “doable” but at a small additional cost).

If you have to go down the colour route then printing really is your only option because whilst embossing or engraving the USB flash drives looks great you can’t apply any colours during these processes. Printed USB flash drives do look amazing (subject to the quality of the artwork used) but just like any printed product the colours will fade over time and printed logo may potentially “chip away” for flake off over time. It doesn’t matter how much the USB flash drives are primed before printing (to ensure a stronger print bond) or baked after printing (to harden the ink and improve the bond strength) eventually the print will chip and scratch – if you put the USB drives on a keyring then expect any printed image to disappear pretty quickly – they just can’t take the punishment.

Engraved USB Flash Drives

Engraved USB Flash Drives

One option that not only looks great but won’t chip away over time is engraving – engraved USB memory sticks, particularly wooden ones look amazing and the beauty of engraving on wooden USB sticks is that the engraved logo on it will age with the stick – OK it might take a few bumps and bashes along the way but the aging is sympathetic and looks in keeping. The brand integrity will be maintained and arguably enhanced.

The tactile nature of engraving is such that for many engraving is the preferred option rather than a choice just to ensure the longevity of the brand applied to the USB drive. Lots of professional photographers are now moving over to engraved wooden USB flash drives because they look amazing and they are an ideal choice for them to hand out to their wedding clients. When coupled with an engraved wooded gift box the end “packaged” results look stunning.

Engraved USB Memory Sticks

Engraved USB Memory Sticks

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Marked for Life – Engraved USB Flash Drives

Buying Cheap Promotional USB Flash Drives

March 20th, 2014

It’s understandable in today’s economic climate to make sure when you’re buying promotional USB flash drives that you do your research and get the best possible price you can for the flash drives you buy. So cheap is best right? The answer is “not necessarily”.

The problem with just using cheap as the benchmark against which you make your buying decision is that it can mask all manner of other issues and the potential problems of buying “cheap” can include but are not limited to damage to your brand and reputation. Ironically often the exact opposite of what most companies are trying to do when they hand out promotional products.

USB2U for Promotional USB Flash Drives

USB2U for Promotional USB Flash Drives

If all promotional USB memory sticks were manufactured to the same specification and all suppliers took the same degree of care and responsibility in the supply of your order then a decision based on price would be reasonable. But, buying promotional USB flash drives is not, for example, like buying a Samsung TV of a particular model where you know exactly what you’re buying because every reseller is selling exactly the same product and you can read not only the reviews on the product but on the supplier as well!

Instead buying flash drives is a bit like entering a minefield – one wrong step and you could be looking at a very costly mistake.

Why is it so difficult? Well the fundamental problem is that although lots of USB sticks look exactly the same on the outside it’s what is on the inside that is important. Buy cheap and you’re likely to get something that looks pretty good but inside the shell will be cheap components (cheap flash memory, cheap controller chips and a cheap capacitor) that are likely to fail or will have very slow read/write speeds and might even be masked (this is an expression used to describe flash drives that have been “adapted” to make a 128MB chip look like a 4GB chip).

Over the 12 years or so we’ve been selling flash drives we’ve heard our fair share of horror stories and our advice is simple:

  1. Buy local because at least this way you can check out the supplier, you can read reviews on their service, you can spend a couple of £ and find out who’s behind the company and if things do go wrong then at least you have some recourse in law (in a jurisdiction you are familiar with).
  2. Get some assurance from your supplier on the type/quality of the components used inside their USB sticks (get this confirmed on the order as well as just the memory size).
  3. Read the terms and conditions of supply and ideally don’t part with any money until your USB sticks are ready to ship – if you have a good credit record then ask for payment terms. This way you’ll get your USB sticks before you have to pay for them and you can make sure they are exactly what you were expecting.
  4. Read the reviews sites and see what other customer are saying about the suppliers you’ve contacted.
  5. Check the length of any warranty and be clear about the process to invoke any claim under the warranty.

Yes the price is important but so is your brand so make sure you are buying from a supplier that you feel comfortable trusting your brand and your company’s reputation to.

 

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Buying Cheap Promotional USB Flash Drives

USB Yearbooks – Personalised USB Memory Sticks for Schools

March 18th, 2014

We’re rapidly approaching that time when lots of students will be making their preferred and insurance university choices before they then start to focus on the securing the exam results they need to get their place secured. It’s a difficult and emotional time for everyone with because not only are the students dealing with the pressure of exams but they’ll also have to come to terms with saying goodbye to their friends, many of whom they will have been close to for years.

It’s not uncommon now for lots of schools to put together a Year Book to help the students record their memories of the time they spent at the school but some lots of students will also arrange for their own “hoodies”, T-shirts etc.

Another option is a personalised USB memory stick – each USB stick can be printed or engraved with the students name on one side and details of the school on the other. The USB stick can also be pre-loaded with a copy an electronic copy of the school yearbook and could also include video clips of school drama productions, award ceremonies, sports days and of course embarrassing pictures from the Prom Night!

There are lots of different styles of USB sticks to choose from including the popular USB wristbands to the more common “twister” style of drive – they can all be supplied in a printed gift box and optionally with lanyards or keyrings. With prices starting at just a few pounds the USB sticks are a cheaper option that Yearbooks but realistically many students will want the printed version so they are best thought of as a supplementary option that gives more scope to include media clips etc.

USB Wristbands

USB Wristbands

If the USB sticks are being bought by the school on behalf of the students then there is no pre-payment because the school will automatically be given 30-day credit terms. The lead time to produce the personalised sticks is around 10 days but if you do leave it late don’t worry because at USB2U we can offer a “rush” 24hr delivery service.

To submit the names of the students all we need is a Word Document or ideally an Excel file (any CSV file will do). We supply a mock-up and proof before anything is printed or engraved so there will be plenty of opportunity to make sure you are happy before we “press the button” and produce them all.

USB Yearbooks – now there’s an interesting idea!

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USB Yearbooks – Personalised USB Memory Sticks for Schools

Custom USB Memory Sticks – Go On Design Your Own

March 17th, 2014

OK we know it’s Monday and it can be a challenging day to get the creative juices flowing but if you’re thinking or ordering some promotional USB drives any time in the next few weeks then why not consider getting them made in a 3D shape than represents the products you sell!

Promotional USB drive are a really popular way to support all manner of sales and marketing activities (shows, seminars, conferences, sales calls, press events and so on) with most companies opting for a simple USB stick they can print their logo or brand on. These are great and we sell them in their millions but if you really want something that will stand out from the crowd and get people talking, tweeting and blogging about your business then fully bespoke versions are definitely the way to go.

There are two key things you need:

1)      Time – to create and supply a fully customised flash drive that is unique to you (with the design owned by you) takes a little longer than just printing or engraving a logo onto a standard drive. Realistically you need to allow around 4-5 weeks from the initial engagement. This gives enough time to create a really go design and more importantly to produce a physical sample and get your approval on it before mass production begins.

You don’t have to commit to more than a couple of hundred at a time but you do need to commit to the process because it will require your involvement and input.

2)      The gem of an idea – most bespoke jobs start with a photography of a product or occasionally a design drawing but we need something to help us get the ball rolling – we don’t need a fully specified product we just need pointing in the right direction and then we’ll work up the designs and seek you feedback – it’s normally an involved and iterative process where we work up initial concepts into a fully-fledged design we can manufacture from.

Custom USB Memory Sticks

Custom USB Memory Sticks

Don’t be put off by thinking they are going to cost the earth because they won’t – as a ball park a 4GB custom USB stick costs around £1 – £2 more per unit than any comparable standard drive. There are NO set-up and tooling costs but at the end of the job you will “own” the design so the USB sticks will be unique to you and your company.

At USB2U we like to think of ourselves as USB Makers extraordinaire as much as anything because we love making them and our clients seem to love the results – if you’re at all interested just give us a call – we’d love to hear from you.

Metal Custom USB Flash Drives

Metal Custom USB Flash Drives

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Custom USB Memory Sticks – Go On Design Your Own

How To Care For Your Branded USB Memory Stick

March 12th, 2014

You have invested time in selecting, designing, sourcing and of course paying for your Branded USB memory sticks. Or you could be the lucky recipient of a free Branded USB drive. Either way there are a few golden rules to follow to ensure you have many years of happy ‘USBing’…..

Rule 1. When not in use do store the Branded USB away from extremes of temperatures, magnetic emissions from your mobile phone and of course water. All of these can potentially damage the sensitive components of the USB. Ideally consider bespoke USB packaging that the memory stick can be stored in. There is now a large selection available, which can also be branded.

Rule 2. Keep the metal connector that is inserted into the USB port covered so that dust and dirt will not accumulate inside. This can cause an ineffective connection so it seems the memory stick is not working. A sharp blow of air into the connector can sometimes dislodge this.

Rule 3. Ensure the computer is fully booted up and the home screen visible before inserted the Branded Flash drive.  If this is inserted before the computer is turned on or whilst it is booting it could cause an electrical ‘shock’ to the flash drive that could destroy some of the USB components.

Rule 4. Once you have finished using the Branded Memory stick, do not remove the flash drive immediately from the USB port.  The computer the stick is inserted into is constantly reading the flash drive and if removed like this on a regular basis it can damage the UBS components.

The correct process is to use a simple remove procedure before pulling it out of the USB port. On a windows platform, the easiest way to do this is to right click on the USB drive letter and selecting the ‘eject’ option.  This will then provide a pop up message stating it is now safe to remove the memory stick. It is a similar process for Macs.

Rule 5.  Whilst rare, static electricity can also damage Flash Memory sticks. For example, on dry days, a person can generate enough static electricity and if they discharge by touching a drive it could short circuit the internal components of the USB stick.

Rule 6. USB Flash drives must be inserted in one direction only. It cannot be forces into the port, otherwise this could damage both the USB memory stick and / or USB port. New standards are being considered to allow the USB to be inserted in any direction, but this is several years away.

Whilst the humble USB is now ubiquitous and reasonably robust, it needs to be recognised that it is still a highly sophisticated and complex technological device which needs to be treated accordingly.   These simply rules should certainly help!

Capless Twister Style USB Memory Sticks

Capless Twister Style USB Memory Sticks

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How To Care For Your Branded USB Memory Stick

Promotional USB Memory Sticks – Looking Good In Leather

March 10th, 2014

The promotional USB memory stick market tends to be dominated by plastic and metal products but for those looking for something a little different there is always leather or wood.

Leather USB memory sticks are only marginally more expensive than standard plastic or metal counterparts but when you compare them in the flesh it’s a pretty easy decision to make to spend the extra cash. The price differential is typically only 20p – 30p per sticks! The leather versions are incredibly stylish, robust, and tactile and like most leather products they are warm to the touch and ooze quality.

Leather USB Memory Sticks

Leather USB Memory Sticks

If your company brand warrants marketing as a “prestige” or premium” brand then it’s definitely worth looking at the leather options (for example we currently supply them to Aston Marti and Maserati). Equally, if you’re looking for a promotional give-away or “thank you” gift for conference speakers or company executives then leather USB memory sticks will deliver the right level of sophisticated appreciation.

In terms of branding leather USB memory sticks are either embossed or printed with embossing being the most popular option. Embossing is more subtle. It won’t rug off and it will age with the leather but the downside with embossing is that the branding is subtle – it’s not going to jump out at you from the memory stick because there is no colour or printing involved. If you want immediate visual impact then printing is the way to go but do bear in mind that over time any print will fade and eventually it will rub off.

There are lots of different models of leather USB memory sticks to choose from and all of them have been designed to allow you to attach the memory stick to a lanyard, key ring or belt loop. As they are premium products they really deserve giving away in a custom (printed) gift box – there are lots to choose from and most come with a custom cut foam insert that allows them to be shown off at their best.

Leather USB Flash Drives

Leather USB Flash Drives

If you do buy leather USB memory sticks (or any type of promotional USB stick for that matter) then don’t forget to take full advantage of the memory capacity on the stick and pre-load your sales brochures, presentation slides, media files etc. onto them before you hand them out! Equally, if the memory sticks are being purchased as a “thank you” it’s a nice idea to include a personalised thank you message on the stick – in other words to pre-load the a personalised thank you file onto the stick that is displayed to the recipient when the memory stick is used for the first time.

USB2U supply a wide range of leather USB sticks and printed USB gift boxes and they can pre-load your data file for you as well – make sure to them to your short list of potential suppliers.

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Promotional USB Memory Sticks – Looking Good In Leather

Wedding Photographers are all Heart (USB Heart)

March 7th, 2014

We had a fantastic four days at the UK Photography Show at the NEC in Birmingham this week and we learnt a few lessons during our time there. We’ve yet to get the official data on the number of attendees but based simply on the number of visitors to our stand and on anecdotal feedback from other exhibitors it’s been a great success. The hall was rammed from the minute the doors opened on Saturday to the closing tannoy announcement on Tuesday!

For those of us who manned the stand we’re still recovering but realistically it will take this week-end for us to fully recover and get back to normal. For the older ones amongst us it might take a little longer! (Shows are definitely a young person’s game).

The really positive aspect of the show for us was to finally meet lots of our customers and to introduce ourselves to lots more prospective customers – what a really nice bunch of people professional photographers are! The only negative is that lots of them come with some very large rucksacks (for their cameras and kit) which can be a bit challenging on a small(ish) stand! That aside we had a blast meeting some really great people with a huge passion for what they do.

We got loads of really positive feedback on our range of engraved USB memory sticks and gift boxes at the show and in particular the effort that we’ve put into our packaging options – the wooden USB sticks weren’t for everyone simply because they didn’t work with their branding or client base but on the whole the wooden USB sticks and accompanying boxes were really popular.

Our bundles and packages (put together specifically for the professional photographer) have gone down so well that we’re working hard on launching some new packages over the next few weeks (keep an on eye on our Twitter feed and our website for more news on these). We’re also looking at the feasibility of continuing with a reduced minimum order level of 10 USB sticks and boxes moving forward (a reduced MOQ of 10 was one of the many offers we had at the show).

The one thing that took us by surprise was the interest in a USB Heart that we took along purely as a sample. The decision to take it was very much a last minute thing and we included it in the display cabinet just to see what reaction it prompted. It’s a product that divided the photographers we spoke to with some absolutely loving it and others suggesting it was definitely not right for their clients. Those that loved it (and many already use it) were wedding photographers and wanted it to give to the bride (with her wedding photos pre-loaded onto it) – overall the reaction to the USB Hearts was so positive that we’re now adding it to our portfolio and it will be available for purchase from our USB2U website very soon!

USB Hearts for Photographers

USB Hearts for Photographers

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Wedding Photographers are all Heart (USB Heart)
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