Millions of promotional USB flash drives are given away every year. Typically they’re used to help secure new customers, to reinforce relationships with existing customers, to distribute information (sales brochures, presentation files and press release) or simply to develop a brand.
When they were first launched the choice of flash drive was pretty limited. Most early designs were simple rectangular pieces of plastic with a USB connector on the end and a basic removable cap. Over the last few years increased competition in the flash drive market, and in particular in the promotional USB flash drive market has led to lots of design innovation in the core shape of the flash drive. Today you can buy them “off the peg” in all manner of shapes and styles and manufactured from a wide range of materials including plastic, metal, leather, wood, bamboo and rubber.
If a standard model doesn’t quite fit your needs then there’s now a secondary industry that design and manufactures fully customised USB sticks in any shape. What’s surprising about this is that the costs are only marginally higher than standard shapes but there is a price to be paid in terms of extended lead times of around 4 –5 weeks compared to the usual 10 days.
Of all the new shapes and styles available today the credit card shaped USB flash drive is the one that is beginning to capture people’s interest. The reasons are:
- The latest generation of credit card USB flash drives are only 2mm thick so they are only marginally thicker than a standard bank card. This means they fit comfortably into any wallet or purse that is designed to carry cards.
- As well as being “skinny” the credit card flash drives are exactly the same shape as a regular bank card so it’s a shape people are already familiar with.
- The larger print area on a credit card USB disk gives lots more scope to print complex images. You can also
include lots of important text like phone numbers, email addresses and website addresses – something that is simply not possible on a standard USB stick.
- Printed credit card USB drives look fantastic and make a real visual impact – partly due to the larger print area and partly because you have so much more scope to be creative with the print. Check out these images on Flickr
- They’re great for Direct Mail campaigns – because they are so thin and light they can be mailed out in a standard mailer pack (envelope) so avoiding larger “Packet Post” charges. There are also plenty of mailer packs already designed to carry bank cards that can be used “off the shelf” for mailing out USB credit cards.
- Despite their size they’re available in memory sizes ranging from 128MB all the way up to 16GB.
- Any brand printed on the cards can expect to be carried in a purse or wallet and as such the brand will get plenty of on going brand exposure.
- There are lots of different ways in which the USB connector can be integrated into the cards so even within the credit card range there are plenty of choices.
- The lead-time for printed USB credit cards is only 7-10 days
- Despite all of these benefits they are typically no more expensive than a standard, rectangular USB stick.