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Archive for the ‘Branded Memory’ Category

Branded USB Memory Sticks – It’s What We Do

Wednesday, 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

Promote Your Business in 2014 with USB Cards

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Promotional USB memory sticks USB cards of all shapes and sizes were incredibly popular last year and their on-going popularity in 2014 looks assured. It was only a couple of years ago that they were a niche product with most businesses and schools opting for the more traditional models like the “Twister” USB but when thinner versions of the cards were introduced all this changed.

The current USB cards are only 2mm thick (just marginally thicker than a standard bank card) and they come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. They can be printed in full colour on both sides of the card and because the “USB connector” is tucked away inside the card there is no cap to lose!

Of the different USB card shapes available the credit card option tends to be the most popular for two reasons:

  • It’s the largest of the USB cards and as such offers the most scope to get creative when it comes to design and print – there is lots of space to include things like strap lines, phone numbers, website addresses and postal addresses. It’s not unusual for the credit card versions to have a really impactful image on one side and for the reverse to be printed up with the company’s contact details (see the examples below).
  • It’s a shape we are used to carrying – pretty much everyone has a wallet or purse with bank card slots and these USB cards just slip straight into them! The credit card industry used to talk about the benefits of their brand have “share of wallet” and the same can be argued with these USB credit cards – how many times will your brand be seen if it’s carried around in a purse or wallet!
USB Credit Cards

USB Credt Card Collection

Other shapes available are; circles, squares, triangles, rectangles and ellipse (egg shaped) cards – all can be printed in full colour on both sides.

The different shapes of the cards allow you to get creative as well; we’ve used square cards for Durex and printed them to look like a condom pack, we’ve used the circle shaped USB cards and printed them to look like a poker chip, the rectangle shaped cards have been printed to look like a domino and the triangle cards have been made to look like a Toblerone!

USB Circle Cards - Costa Coffee

USB Circle Cards - Costa Coffee

Despite being only 2mm thick the USB cards are available in a wide range of memory sizes (128MB all the way up to 16GB). They’re only pennies more than a standard USB stick and they can be supplied (printed and data-loaded) in as little as 24hrs.

So, if you’re looking for something a little bit different to kick start your sales and marketing activities in 2014 then you might want to consider using a USB card.

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Promote Your Business in 2014 with USB Cards

Advice For Buying Branded USB Memory Sticks During Chinese New Year

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Our advice on buying branded USB memory sticks during Chinese New Year is simple – don’t do it. Not only should you avoid trying to buy them during Chinese New Year but if you can, you should also avoid buying them just before and just after these particular holidays.

Almost without exception all USB memory sticks are manufactured in China so when China closes for a national holiday all production stops. In 2014, Chinese New Year (also known as the Spring Festival) starts early – the actual day is 31st January but factories and offices will start to close from around the 21st January and many won’t re-open until the 10th February!

So, for nearly 3 weeks NO USB sticks will be manufactured. In the run-up to the holidays the factories come under intense pressure to push through all orders before they close and on their return things are equally as chaotic as they try and deal with a 3 week backlog. It’s not just the closure of the factories that cause problems – in the rush before the holidays the International Courier services out of China and Hong Kong (UPS, Fedex, DHL etc.) get swamped and it’s not unusual for shipments to get “bumped” off overloaded flights. In summary chaos ensues.

The other big impact this extended holiday has on USB sticks is to push up prices – it’s a classic “supply and demand” scenario with too many customers trying to buy limited stock. Price increases of 10% – 20% are not unusual and for certain styles the price increases can be even higher.

Perhaps the biggest issue for any business looking to buy promotional USB memory sticks in early 2014 is uncertainty – uncertainty on price, uncertainty on availability and uncertainty on whether any order will actually arrive when it’s needed!

At USB2U we’ve lived through Chinese New Year for the last 11 years and we still carry the scars but fortunately we’ve learnt some valuable lessons along the way. Now we plan ahead, we encourage customers to buy early where they can, we load up with UK stock, we embargo all staff holidays, we set up overtime rotas for our in-house design and print teams and we generally prepare ourselves for a huge spike in demand for our UK “rush service” (we know from past experience that other suppliers will over promise and underestimate the impact of the Spring Festival and we often end up picking up the pieces).

Our core advice remains the same this year as it has been in all previous years – order you USB sticks now – you’ll get better prices, you’ll get your sticks for when you need them and you’ll won’t have to worry or stress about whether they are going to turn up on time.

Buying USB Memory Sticks During Chinese New Year

Buying USB Memory Sticks During Chinese New Year

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Advice For Buying Branded USB Memory Sticks During Chinese New Year

Branded USB Fairy Lights & USB Memory Sticks – An Awesome Combination

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Promotional USB memory sticks have always been a popular give-away no matter what the time of year it is. It doesn’t seem to matter how many USB sticks someone has already they always seem grateful to be given more which is just as well because millions are given away every year!

We’re seeing lots of companies buy USB sticks this year and sending them out with their logo printed on them but also pre-loading a seasonal greeting on the USB stick – this way when they are “plugged in” the Christmas greeting from the company giving them away can be viewed or played (lots of companies are getting very creative with video messages etc!). Providing you don’t make the logo or design printed on the USB stick too “Christmassy” then there is a much strong chance that they’ll have a life beyond Christmas giving any brand that’s printed on them lots of on-going exposure.

If you want to give away something a little bit different this Christmas then you might want to consider sending out some USB fairy lights to your customers. These are great fun, they don’t need any batteries, they plug into any spare USB port on a PC and typically they’re used to decorate a workstation or monitor. Whilst it’s challenging to brand the fairy lights with any logo the plain white box they are supplied in can be printed up with a seasonal message and we’ve also had a go at using our small “dog-tags” and clipping these to the fairy lights!

USB-Fairy-Lights

USB-Fairy-Lights

We’re currently sending out a set of USB fairy lights with every USB memory stick order we fulfil and we’ve had some lovely feedback from our customers many of whom have come to us and bought more of the USB lights to give to their own customers.

The ultimate package is a branded USB memory stick combined with a set of USB fairy lights – all delivered in a nicely printed presentation box – all for less than £5! We hold these in stock in the UK so it’s not too late to get your order in and if you need them in a hurry we can turn them around in as little as 24hrs!

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Branded USB Fairy Lights & USB Memory Sticks – An Awesome Combination

That’s A Pretty Dumb Thing to Say to Your Professional Photographer Customers

Friday, May 24th, 2013

If you run a global on line Photo storage and sharing service that has thousands and thousands of professional photographers as users (and many as fee paying users) then surely the last thing you want to do when announcing a major upgrade to the service is to alienate them.

Well, step forward Marissa Mayer Yahoo’s CEO whose company owns and runs Flickr – On Tuesday of this week Mayer said “There’s no such thing as Flickr Pro, because today, with cameras as pervasive as they are, there is no such thing, really, as a professional photographer.”

Understandably professional photographers and the various associations that represent them around the world have reacted with shock, dismay and disappointment.

The Professional Photographers of America (PPA) boasts 25,000 members in 54 countries and they are not happy:

“Mayer could not be more wrong, and her statement shows a lack of understanding that is difficult to comprehend from someone who is a supposed industry leader. “

“None of us would presume that purchasing a set of quality kitchen knives makes us a chef, or that owning a sports car makes us a race car driver. And purchasing a top-notch camera does not miraculously endow the owner with the knowledge and experience needed to create professional-quality images. In reality, acquiring such skills takes years, even a lifetime.” Read the full statement here.

Whilst Mayer has tried to downplay the furore her statement has caused by issuing a clarification on Twitter it’s not going to be enough for many photographers many of whom have been strong advocates of Flickr in the past.

At USB2U we’re a “Pro” user of Flickr simply because we don’t like or want adverts on the pages. We use to showcase our branded USB memory sticks and we use the service because historically it’s been a good vehicle for us to communicate what we’re about and what we can do to professional photographers – this might be up for review depending on what happens over the next few weeks!

If you prefer you can also view lots of images of our products on our USB2U Pinterest pages – in this day and age it makes sense to have a couple of alternatives in place!

Flickr USB Pages

Flickr USB Pages

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That’s A Pretty Dumb Thing to Say to Your Professional Photographer Customers

Branded USB Memory Sticks – Trends for 2013

Monday, December 31st, 2012

The last 12 months have been another strong year for Branded USB Memory Sticks but will 2013 be the year the bubble finally burst on these now ubiquitous products? At USB2U we’ve been selling USB products and most notably USB memory sticks for much of the last 10 years and this is our take on the likely trends for 2013:

  1. Sales of CD’s and DVD’s for use in the promotional sector will continue to decline leaving companies that have historically built their business around the supply of these products perilously exposed. Once at the vanguard of personal data storage CD’s and DVD’s are now considered by many as “old fashioned”, clunky and just boring. New PC’s, particularly ultra-thin laptops and notebooks often don’t have a built in CD or DVD player which reinforces the direction the PC market thinks they are going!
  2. The use of “cloud based” data and file sharing solutions like Dropbox and YouSendIt will continue to gain popularity but their impact will be felt more strongly in the personal data storage market rather than in the commercial sector. For example students today are just as likely to back up their homework onto a cloud based storage solution that they can access from anywhere and on any device rather than store it on a USB stick that could get lost or might not be allowed on the school networked PC’s. As these solutions gain in popularity there is likely to be a drop in the sale of USB flash drives for personal use.
  3. As the price of flash memory continues to fall (albeit with seasonal fluctuations throughout the year) the average size (memory size) of USB stick purchased will increase to 2GB – 4GB in the promotional sector and 16GB – 32GB in the personal sector.
  4. The very small memory options favoured by some companies and organisations (128MB, 256MB and 512MB) will all but disappear in 2013. The reason is simply that it’s uneconomical for the factories to make them anymore and where they are offered they you’ll often find that the what is described as say a 128MB chip is actually a rejected 2GB chip that has failed or bad “sectors” but at least 128MB are “OK” – so, what you end up buying is a rejected 2GB chip. These aren’t always readily available so supply is often limited and of course not everyone is comfortable buying “rejected” memory.
  5. Increased competition in the supply of Branded USB memory sticks coupled with falling prices for flash memory will see prices continue to fall throughout 2013. This in turn will open up all sorts of new markets for their use – expect to see more USB sticks loaded with digital brochures etc. given away at trade shows, press events and conferences.
  6. Lots more new designs, shapes and styles of USB memory sticks will be launched in 2013 including some interesting USB badges and buttons which in turn will shake up the traditional name badge sector.
  7. USB Buttons

    USB Buttons

    Increasing numbers of professional photographers and wedding photographers will embrace printed and engraved USB memory sticks and use them as a creative way of delivering their clients’ portfolios and as a way of generating new revenue.

  8. USB 3.0 will still be on a “slow-burn” – the undoubted benefits it offers in terms of read/write speeds have simply not translated into increased sales of USB 3.0 products. The move from USB 1.x to USB 2.0 happened almost overnight but USB 3.0 has failed to catch people’s imagination. Expect prices for USB 3.0 flash drives to fall during 2013 but don’t be surprised is USB 2.0 still dominates throughout the year!
  9. More companies will commission fully customised USB sticks in the shape of one of their products or logo – the increased demand will be driven by falling lead times, falling set-up costs and cheaper prices. Custom USB sticks also offer a “wow” factor that is simply not possible to achieve with even the best printed USB stick!
  10. USB Memory Sticks  for Wedding Photographers

    USB Memory Sticks for Wedding Photographers

    Data pre-loading will become the norm. At the moment only around 25% of companies that buy printed USB memory sticks get data files pre-loaded onto them before they are delivered. Sometimes this is because the data is not ready but often it’s because the company fails to understand the opportunity they have to get their brochures, media files etc. pre-loaded onto their USB sticks free of charge!

  11. Just in time ordering – the demand for printed or engraved USB sticks in as little as 24hrs is likely to increase in 2013. Partly driven by a failure to plan and partly driven by the markets willingness to gear up and offer a “rush service”. At USB2U we hold thousands of USB sticks in stock in the UK and can turn them around (printed, engraved and data-loaded) in 24hrs of less!
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Branded USB Memory Sticks – Trends for 2013

Custom & Branded Flash Drive Awards 2010

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

We’ve had the BAFTA’s the Razzies and the Oscars so at USB2U we thought it was about time we celebrated the success of the humble USB memory stick.

They may not have the glamour and glitz of the film industry but to us and to our customers the memory stick is a “hero product” that punches well about its weight and we felt now was the time to recognise its endeavours throughout the last 12 months.

Custom and Branded Flash Drive Awards

The categories and awards are as follows:

Best Custom Flash Drive

This award is given to the company that has come up with the best creative design for a bespoke 3-D flash drive. The design had to be new, eye-catching, and play on the company name, logo or product. There was tough competition this year because of the huge demand for bespoke solutions but in our judgement the winner is: The Dolorex – The Pain Eraser Company: Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health Best Custom USB Flash Drive

Best “All Rounder” Memory Stick

This award has been given to the Twister style memory stick because time and time again it delivers for our customers. Its relatively small form factor belies an edgy strength and a rare flexibility. It’s become incredibly popular because it has no cap to lose; it carries print very well and comes in any colour you want. The Twister is simply the best all rounder bar none and is a popular winner: The Twister Best "All Rounder" USB Memory Stick

Best Pantone Matched Memory Stick

Throughout much of the last year we have been offering free pantone matching of the body shell of our most popular memory sticks to any colour from our customers logo. This is an excellent way to lift the printed stick from the ordinary into the extraordinary. Because of its popularity there was lots of competition in this category but the winner is: Parsley Media Pantone Match Twister
Best Pantone Matched

Best Stick and Box Combo

It not just about the memory stick but also how it’s presented that can often make the difference so this award is for the best-dressed flash drive. Not in a tuxedo but in a box and the winner is: Berry Systems Pantone Matched Twister & Magnetic Box Best USB Stick and Packaging Combp

Best USB Credit Card

The beauty of these credit card shaped memory sticks is that they fit into any standard wallet alongside all your regular credit and debit cards but tucked inside them they have the capacity to carry tons of data. The winner of the best USB credit card is: The Microsoft Credit Card Best Credit Card USB Flash Drive
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Custom & Branded Flash Drive Awards 2010

Branded USB Memory – Tip 2. The Hidden Dangers Of Autoruns

Monday, February 15th, 2010

In the second of the series of top tips to consider when purchasing Branded USB Memory Sticks, we explore whether autorun make good business sense when set against the hidden pitfalls!

Many clients are faced with the dilemma of whether they should add an autorun facility to their Branded USB Memory Sticks.

An autorun facility allows users to insert a Branded Memory Stick and for the computer to automatically run a programme e.g. a movie file.

USB Dataload

The advantages of this facility is that it ensures the user is presented with the information the client wants them to see, without having to find the information themselves. This makes is a very intuitive process and ensures the information on the USB Memory Stick is delivered. However there are some hidden pitfalls:

  • Autoruns will not work on Win 98 or 2000 operating systems – beware there are still many users out there with these systems. You will also need to ensure that the appropriate code is written into any autorun for it to work on Mac operating systems.
  • Some corporate firewalls restrict autoruns, so the danger is that the end user will never see the data.
  • Nuisance factor. If one of the objectives is to ensure that the USB Branded Memory Stick is a keepsake that the end user will access on a regular basis then its worth bearing in mind that every time the user wants to access or save a document they will have to run through the dataload programme. Fine for the first few times, but thereafter they may find this an irritation and relegate the memory stick deep into a draw!

There is a middle way, why not consider loading the data onto the Branded USB Memory Stick with an icon labelled ‘Click Here To Start’ and allow the user to access the data when they want.  This data can be protected so it would not be deleted, but overcomes may of the issues detailed above.

If this is not an option, then it is highly recommended to produce a pre-production sample of the autorun. In this way you or your client can test the autorun in the environment it would be used. You do not need to have the final data file to complete this exercise.

Another option would be to load the same data as a non-autorun file on the unprotected part of the Branded Memory stick. In this way, if the autorun fails to work, the user still has the option to select information manually.

There is no doubt that autoruns are a great method to deliver information, but ensure you and/or your client are aware of the pitfalls and try to build in a safety net, as once produced it is extremely difficult to reload the data without returning to the manufacturing plant, which is usually based in China.

View Tip 1. Here.

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Branded USB Memory – Tip 2. The Hidden Dangers Of Autoruns

Promotional Memory Sticks Lead The Way In 2010

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Wow – what a start to 2010! Last year we saw significant growth in the use of branded USB memory sticks but orders in the first few weeks of 2010 have surpassed all expectations.

Sales of memory sticks that are either printed or embossed with a company logo or design are accelerating and demand for fully customised (bespoke shapes and designs) is really picking up.

Custom USB Custom USB Custom USB

A well-designed and printed memory stick does wonders to help promote your company, to develop your brand and to keep your company ahead of the competition. They’re also, as many companies are now finding out, a fantastic and cost effective way to distribute your sales literature, data sheets, pricing information and media files.

Popular uses for branded memory sticks include:

  1. Give-aways at trade shows and exhibitions (but pre-loaded with sales brochures to help reduce the paper brochure print costs, transportation and storage).
  2. Handouts at seminars and conferences (pre-loaded with the event details, speakers notes and slides and details of forthcoming events).
  3. Press events. Fully customised usb flash drives are increasingly being used in preference to standard factory models at Press Events and Press Launches because they really do generate a “buzz” and help to get key messages across to the attending journalists. Of course pre-loading the custom sticks with the press releases, core company information, biographies of key staff and media files helps to ensure the journalists have all the key information at their fingertips is recommended.
  4. Promotional give-aways. Everyone loves something for nothing but it helps if what you’re giving away is desirable and will be used by the recipient. Memory sticks certainly fit the bill here.
  5. Staff events and briefings. Memory sticks are a popular way of disseminating key information out to employees particularly if there are lots of forms and details to distribute and you want to reduce the print and reproduction costs of these forms.
  6. Visitor gifts – rather than a boring pencil, pen or T-Shirt lots of companies are now turning to branded memory sticks for visitor gifts. They are after all more “business like” and have a high-perceived value.

Given the growth in sales we’ve already seen in 2010 these examples must just be small snapshots of what printed USB flash drives are being used for. If you are interested in printed usb memory sticks or fully bespoke USB flash drives for your company then give us a call to explore the options.

Branded USB Branded USB Branded USB
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Promotional Memory Sticks Lead The Way In 2010
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