If you or your company are considering buying USB memory sticks as a giveway one of the key considerations will be what memory size you should buy. Memory options start as low as 64MB and go all the way up to 128GB (that’s Gigabyte not Megabyte).

Realistically anything over 16GB is going to be too expensive to be used as a giveway and arguably anything less than 1GB is too small for a number of reasons:

  • Retention and re-use: If you want the USB sticks you hand out to be retained and used (this way you get maximum brand exposure) then you need to give the user some spare storage capacity on the sticks to store and carry their own information around on. If you buy sticks with too little memory (128MB or 256MB) and you load your own data onto these before you hand them out then you’re not giving the recipient much incentive to hang onto the stick.

    (If all you want to do use the USB memory sticks to distribute information to your customers and you’re not bothered if they keep them then in these circumstances go with the smaller options).

  • End of life: Very few memory chip manufacturers are still producing 1GB memory chips so any that are available tend to be re-cycled or they were chips that were originally destined to be larger capacity chips but some of the sectors failed the QA test so they will have been “downgraded” to a 1GB chip.
  • Perceived value: Customers are not stupid and know when they are being given something of value so if you want to make an impact don’t give then a 128MB USB Stick – it’s not going to impress them, give them at least a 1GB stick or ideally a 2GB or 4GB – the cost differential is only pennies these days!

Ironically unless you or the people you intend giving the USB sticks to are moving large data files around the amount of storage in a 256MB or 512MB is huge. For example a typical Word document is only a few KB, likewise a simple spreadsheet, even music files (mp3’s) are only around 5MB so a hundred could fit on a 512MB USB stick! So does size really matter?

USB Memory Sizes - Upgrade Offer

USB Memory Sizes - Upgrade Offer

The short answer is yes – buying at least 2GB USB sticks pretty much assures you are going to get good quality memory inside the stick, it’s a size that people perceive to be worth keeping and it’s the sort of product that will generate lots of affinity to any brand printed onto it. Lots of companies are currently offering free upgrades to 2GB from 1GB so shop around for the best deal.

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