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Should You Pre-load Data on Promotional USB Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 6th October 2011 | Permalink

With a constant need to keep up with competitors, reacting to the ever changing digital world, patterns and trends in industries and the rise and fall of the economy, it’s important to keep one step ahead, and get your businesses’ messages out there efficiently and effectively.

Promotional USB Flash Drives

The Rise Of The Promotional USB Stick

Demand for “old fashioned” CD’s has reduced dramatically over the years, and an increase in printing costs for traditional sales brochures has encouraged companies to look at alternative options to distribute information on their products, prices and services. By nature, consumers are also a lot more visual, and react well to videos and animations that is something that traditional printed materials of course, can’t offer.
Customised USB sticks are increasingly the solution companies opt for because:
1. Printed and customised USB memory sticks are now available for less than £2 per unit (subject to minimum quantities and type)
2. You get on-going brand exposure with USB sticks because they tend to be used by the recipient to store and carry their own personal data (after all this is what they are designed for!)
3. Postage costs to send out a DM campaign with USB sticks are significantly cheaper than sending out expensive and heavy glossy brochures.
4. The cost of printing on a USB is generally less expensive that the cost of printing brochures.
5. It’s far easier to take a few hundred or even thousand USB sticks to a trade show than it is to transport the equivalent number of heavy brochures or leaflets
6. Lots of brochures handed out at trade shows and exhibitions end up in the bins outside the exhibition halls – USB sticks don’t as they’re small enough to be carried around!
7. Pre-loading your sales catalogues, price lists, press releases, media files etc. onto any USB stick you hand out is a must – After all you’re paying for the storage space on the sticks so you might as well use it.

USB Pre-loaded Data Is A Vital Commodity

Pre-loading data onto a memory stick purchased for your company makes good commercial sense. The savings made by pre-loading data onto USB sticks rather than printing the equivalent documents can fully offset the cost of the sticks. Plus, as mentioned, with the right memory available, short videos and animation can be loaded- something that consumers react well to.
The process of data loading is sometimes called duplication, pre-loading, copying or replication. It is relatively easy to do but it can be time consuming and you need to plan ahead to allow enough time to get the data organised. Ideally a USB stick supplier would do the data-load for you – most will offer a free data load up to a certain amount, typically 100MB.

Locking Data Onto USB Sticks

If you prefer you can “lock” the data that you pre-load onto the USB flash drive. This means that it cannot be deleted, bear in mind if you want to do this you would generally have to have your data ready early as it has to be loaded and “locked” during the manufacturing process. You also need to consider that if you load too much data onto the stick and therefore not leaving enough room for the user then they are highly unlikely to use it and your brand won’t get the on-going use and exposure you have paid for.
At USB2U we have in-house professional data-duplication equipment that enables us to pre-load data on behalf of our clients. For more information about pre-loading data onto memory sticks, feel free to email us at [email protected]

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Why do I need vector artwork for print?

Posted by USB2U on 1st March 2017 | Permalink

If you work in a creative industry like us and are dealing with logos and brands on a daily basis, you will be familiar with AI and EPS file formats for logos. But why do we ask for these files when it comes to printing onto our range of USBs as well as their packaging?

A Vector file type is either .eps, .ai, .pdf and .swf, and you’d need to set up your artwork as a vector graphic to start with before saving them in these formats – you couldn’t, for example, open a JPEG and re save it as a .swf.

So why don’t we use JPEGs? JPEGs are typically low resolution files and they’re mainly used for websites because the smaller file size helps load the pages quickly. They might look ok to the eye but once you zoom in or try to print from them you’re likely to end up with poor, blurred results.

Take a look at the images below and it’s easy to see why Vector artwork is preferred over a JPEG, the images are much sharper, crisper, and look loads better printed onto USBs!

 

The print quality difference between a logo in jpeg format and a logo in EPS vector format

Spot the difference – jpeg or vector artwork?

USB2U show the difference between vector and jpeg artwork engraved on wood

Crisp or fuzzy logo? We know which we prefer…

 

If you’re still a bit unsure then you can always ask your design team to supply you with vector artwork, or you could take a look at our artwork guidelines for a detailed overview of Vector and Raster graphics.

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Metal USB engraving on our Express Service

Posted by USB2U on 3rd January 2017 | Permalink

We are excited to share the news with you that we now offer metal USB engraving for our customers on a UK express service.

At USB2U we are regularly developing our products and service offering for our customers. As part of this we have recently invested in new machinery that will enable us to offer a wider range of products on a shorter lead time and to control the production time and quality here in house at USB2U.

Our new engraving machine was purpose built for USB2U to ensure faster and sharper engraving results.

This new machine extends and complements our extensive finishing equipment. The method of finishing offers our customers a premium look and feel USBs, and a log lasting branding finish. And most importantly, it allows metal USBs engraved on express service!

Want to learn more?

Please contact our team: [email protected]

usb2u_celebrity_15_l

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Wimbledon 2015 and Custom USB Strawberries – of course!

Posted by USB2U on 3rd July 2015 | Permalink

Wimbledon 2015 is now in full swing, the weather is behaving (so far) and the tennis, as evidenced by the Dustin Brown vs. Rafael Nadal game yesterday is as enthralling and entertaining as ever. The only slight fly in the ointment is the BBC Highlights programme that has been savaged by tennis fans and much of the media – expect the BBC to rush in changes pretty soon!

One the perennial favorites at SW19 (if you’re lucky enough to attend in person) are the amazing servings of strawberries and cream. They’re simply a must have and are as much a part of Wimbledon as the all white dress code, the ball balls and girls and the queues to get a ticket!

Every year more than 28,000kg of strawberries and 7,000 litres of cream are consumed by tennis fans and there’s no sign of this classic dish being usurped by anything else soon. Wimbledon is after all as much about the tradition of the event as it is about the tennis and a Wimbledon without strawberries and cream just wouldn’t be Wimbledon.

As much as we love the custom USB strawberries we designed and produced for Sealed Air we can’t see them replacing the real thing!

Custom-USB-Strawberry_Wimbledon

Custom-USB-Strawberry_Wimbledon

Of course these custom USB memory sticks are designed as freebie promotional giveaways and their primary objective is not to refresh a tennis audience but to engage with potential customers and get them talking about Sealed Air’s products and services. Custom USB sticks achieve this to a much greater degree than a standard promotional flash drive because they’re fun, different, they generate “chatter” and they often generate lots of activity on Social Media of the kind that you just don’t see these days with a standard promotional USB stick.

Let’s face it we’re probably all been given at least one or two “twister” style sticks over the last few years but it’s not everyday you get given a USB stick in the shape of a strawberry or truck or power drill!

If you’ve got an seminar, a conference or a marketing initiative coming up that requires a promotional USB memory stick then talk to us at USB2U about getting your own custom version produced. They cost only pennies more than a standard model, there are no set-up costs or tooling costs and they are typically delivered in around 3-4 weeks.

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Custom USB Memory Sticks – Hell Yeah!

Posted by USB2U on 5th June 2015 | Permalink

At USB2U when asked if we can supply Custom USB memory sticks the answer is a clear, unequivocal and loud “Hell yeah” we do. Hopefully we say it with a little more success than Ed Miliband did when giving his response to Jeremy Paxman during the Pre-Election TV debate when asked by Paxman if he was tough enough for the job of prime minister.

The judgement on our ability to produce and supply Custom USB sticks is not the UK electorate (thankfully) but instead the customers that have trusted us with their orders for more than a decade.

To be clear custom drives or bespoke USB flash drives as they are also referred are promotional USB memory sticks drives that have been designed and manufactured in a shape requested by the customer. Typically the shape will reflect the type of products they sell or might be a simple representation of their brand or logo. Typical examples have included a USB Fork-Lift Truck, a USB ship, USB sticks in the shape of lips or USB Training Shoes for Nike. Literally anything is possible!

These types of sticks are truly “custom” in all senses of the word. One of our designers takes a brief from a customer, we then produce a series of 3-D drawings for comment/approval, our factory then produce a 3-D mock-up before we commit the design into production. The design and final mould used to manufacture the USB sticks is “owned” by the customer so no other company will be able to copy the final product.

Custom Flash Drives are definitely not standard “factory designed” flash drives that have simply been printed, engraved or “stickered” to make them look a little different. Whilst simple printed USB drives can look excellent they don’t deliver the same “wow” factor that you get with a truly custom version and because of this they don’t do as good a job in terms of brand development, brand recall or brand loyalty– something which for many businesses are the core reasons for buying and distributing flash drives.

Historically lots of customers may have been put off ordering bespoke versions because of fears about set-up costs and high unit costs but these are now a thing of the past. Likewise minimum order quantities have fallen from thousands to just a couple of hundred! The only thing to bear in mind is the longer lead-time – to design and manufacture them you’ll need to allow around 3-4 weeks rather than 3-4 days.

If you are looking for a supplying of Custom USB memory sticks then make sure you put USB2U on your list – we love working on these projects and have had huge success with them over the years.

Custom-USB-Shapes

Custom-USB-Shapes

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Custom USB Sticks to get your Teeth into!

Posted by USB2U on 17th March 2015 | Permalink

We spotted this image on a recent post by Viralands and it stopped us in our tracks in a ghoulish sort of way. As you might expect we’re strong advocates of pretty much all types and styles of USB sticks including fully customised versions but a denture-USB! Really! Surely there has to be a “is it in good taste line” (no pun intended) and this in this case the line seems to have been crossed.

It’s not obvious from the image if it’s a fake, a one-off prototype or just something that someone has knocked up to create a bit of a stir. If it is real then putting aside the slightly creepy design you can’t really knock innovation or the capability the flash drive would give you to discretely carry your data and back-ups around with you! The question is who would really want one and who would be willing (or daft enough) to wear them – they hardly fall into the James Bond (designed by “M”) category of must have spy kit.

USB Dentures

USB Dentures – A little bit radical

They’re more like something you’d give your grandmother but without wishing to be unkind to grandmothers we’re not sure how many would know what to do with a Denture USB memory stick!

The one thing most customized flash drives do is make an impact and we always suggest to our corporate clients that instead of buying standard models printed or engraved with their logo on that they commission fully bespoke ones instead. Surprisingly they don’t cost much more than standard versions and long gone are the days of expensive set-up fees and tooling costs. The only real negative of ordering bespoke sticks is that you need to allow more time! Whilst we’re incredibly quick at turning around printed USB sticks (as quick as 24hrs) we need around 3-4 weeks to design, proof, manufacture and deliver fully bespoke versions.

If you have got this amount of time before your event then do talk to us about fully customised flash drives. They can be made in the shape of pretty much anything. Over the years we’ve designed and produced hundreds including USB ducks, cars, trucks, boats, words, planes, strawberries, lips and bags just to name but a few.

You don’t have to worry about supplying finished designed to us all we need is a willingness to work with us and a basic idea – our in-house design team will take care of the rest for you and we’ll work with you until you are happy and your custom USB memory sticks have been delivered.

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Will Your Be Buying Custom USB Memory Sticks in 2015

Posted by USB2U on 3rd February 2015 | Permalink

China might be about to enter the year of the Sheep but the USB memory stick market is, we believe, about to enter the year of the Custom model. We’ve seen a few false dawns over the last couple of years but finally this year all of the stars seem to be in alignment and it finally looks as though the year of the Custom USB has come.

If anything the UK is playing catch up with the rest of the world because in some markets fully customised models make up nearly 50% of the promotional market. In the UK, we’re significantly behind this at around 5% – 10%.

Why the difference? Well, first of all we need to be clear that when we say “custom” that we mean a fully bespoke 2-D or 3-D versions that are designed and manufactured to a customer’s specification. They are not standard models that are customised with a logo or design. An example would be a flash drive in the shape of a truck or a power drill or a word. They are “one-offs” and the customer who has commissioned them will not only take delivery of the finished product but they’ll own the rights to the design – no one else will have a USB stick the same as theirs, it will be unique and it will be in a shape/design then have actively been involved in the development of.

Custom USB Memory Sticks

Custom USB Memory Sticks from USB2U

We think the UK is lagging behind other developed markets in this sector is because of ignorance, high perceived costs and an expectation that leads times are going to be horrendous. Clearly the task of “educating” the market about the availability and benefits of ordering fully customised USB flash drives falls to suppliers like us and we’re ready to take on this challenge.

The benefits are well proven – they generate more buzz, they get people talking about the brand/product that they’re representing, they are more likely to be kept and used (over and over again) and photographs of them are far more likely to find their way onto Social Media sites which in turn will drive “chatter” about the brand/product. They are a great promotional product.

What does surprise most customers that ask about them is just how inexpensive they are and how quickly they can be designed, manufactured and delivered. Yes, you will pay more for them but typically its only about 10% – 20% more than a simple printed stick and the lead times at around 3-4 weeks are not unreasonable. You just need to think a little bit further ahead and plan (perhaps that’s our collective problem!).

To be clear there are no tooling and set-up costs, there are no artwork and design fees and you will “own” the rights to the finished product and you’ll get all of this (and the marketing benefits) for a small premium on the unit price. 2015 will be the year of the Custom USB memory stick.

Custom USB Memory Sticks - Shapes

Custom USB Memory Sticks – Shapes

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Wimbledon 2014 & Custom USB Strawberries – Is there a Better Combination

Posted by USB2U on 23rd June 2014 | Permalink

Where did the last 12months go! Seriously how did we get to Wimbledon time again so quickly – it only seems 5 minutes ago that we were consumed with the charge and ultimate victory of Andy Murray and of course a victory that ended a 77 year wait for a men’s champion at Wimbledon.

Today he begins the defence of his title against Belgian David Goffin and after back surgery in September and a change to his coaching staff it’s going to be interesting to see how he handles the return to Centre Court at 13:00. Come on Andy! I’d like to say we’ll all be glued to the TV and Internet watching but we’ll be working (well most of us will)

One aspect of Wimbledon that never changes is the popularity of strawberries! English strawberries have become synonymous with the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament and every year around 30,000 kilos are eaten during the course of the Championships – most with lashing of cream of course! (7,000 litres of cream is poured onto the strawberries every day!! – so much for our growing aversion of anything dairy)

Custom-USB-Strawberry_Wimbledon

Custom-USB-Strawberry_Wimbledon

The endearing popularity of strawberries should be no surprise because not only do they taste great, they’re a source of natural sugar and provide excellent amounts of vitamin C and potassium both of which are minerals essential in our diet but more fundamentally no day at Wimbledon is really complete without a bowl of strawberries and cream! And, the good news is that Wimbledon has announced that prices will be held at £2.50 per serving for the 2014 tournament.

Whilst we don’t produce strawberries at USB2U we have supplied our fair share of Custom USB Strawberries over the years – Not quite as tasty as the real thing but still really popular and a great example of just what you can turn into a USB memory sticks – best to avoid covering these in cream though!

If you’ve got an event, show, conference or press launch and you really want to grab people’s attention and give them something to take away that reminds then of your and you company/product then it’s definitely worth considering a custom USB  memory stick.

We just need an idea to kick things off albeit some picture of the product you want turned into a USB stick would help. If you can get this far then get in touch and our in-house design team will work up some concepts for you and then develop these with you until you’re happy. The next stage is the production of physical samples for your approval and after that the final mass production. Lead times for custom USB sticks are a little longer at around 4 weeks but the finished results are definitely worth the wait.

So, as you sit back in the sunshine watching the tennis and hopefully watch Andy retain his title why don’t you get your thinking cap on and come up with an idea for a killer custom flash drive!

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Custom USB Memory Sticks – Go On Design Your Own

Posted by USB2U on 17th March 2014 | Permalink

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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If don’t Like any of our USB Flash Drives – Build your own!

Posted by USB2U on 2nd January 2014 | Permalink

We currently have around 100 different USB flash drive designs in our portfolio so there is usually at least one model that appeals to any business or school looking to buy them. If however you want something unique, something that only your company or school will have then you could either build your own or commission a bespoke design.

If you want to have a go at building your own (and lots of schools and colleges do this as part of their GCSE Design Technology course) then we can supply you with the core USB flash memory, the controller chips, the capacitor and the USB connector – it’s not as complicated as it sounds. All of these core components are supplied on a single PCB – you just need to design the shell that goes around this. Each PCB is a uniform shape and size and we can supply the memory size to suit your budget.

Build Your Own USB Memory Sticks

Build Your Own USB Memory Sticks

If you buy the USB PCB’s as part of a school project/competition and there was a “winning design” then we could take the winning design into full production and supply the entire school with a branded (printed or engraved) version of the stick. If it’s really good and we feel that it has wider commercial appeal we might even consider working with you to jointly develop the design and market the design. The school would enjoy royalties on the sale of each USB stick!

If you don’t fancy having a go at building your own but instead want us to develop a custom USB stick in the shape of one of your products or perhaps in the shape of your logo or something that represents who you are and what you do then no problem – we’re up for that!

All you need to do is send us a rough idea or what you’re after even basic photographs of any product you want us to copy will do. We can often get enough to go on from a website or product sheets. What you don’t need to do/supply is detailed drawings or CAD files – we take care of all this for you.

Over the years we’ve produced some fantastic custom USB flash drives including USB dinosaurs, USB ducks, USB lipsticks and so on. Surprisingly the minimum order quantity is only 200 pcs and there are no set-up, tooling or design costs to worry about. The finished USB sticks will cost a little bit more than standard factory designs but we’re only talking pennies!

Bespoke USB Memory Sticks

Bespoke USB Memory Sticks

Whether you want to build your own USB flash drive or want us to design and build them for you just give us a call and speak to one of our team. We’d love to hear from you because we love doing custom USB sticks!

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