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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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Custom USB Flash Drives – Wowza!

Posted by USB2U on 29th November 2013 | Permalink

According to the Urban Dictionary the expression Wowza is used to describe something that is surprisingly amazing, something that has a real “wow” to it and is out of the ordinary. Now these are all expressions and phrases that we think really sum up some of the latest Custom USB flash drives that we’ve been producing.

Don’t get us wrong we love the regular printed and engraved USB memory sticks that we supply in their hundreds of thousands but there is something just a little bit special about the custom versions. It’s always exciting to be given the challenge of producing a unique drive for our customers and when they arrive in our warehouse there’s always lots of interest and excitement across the company to see the latest model.

Custom USB Flash Drives from USB2U

Custom USB Flash Drives from USB2U

Our reaction to these fully bespoke flash drives is typically equalled by our customers and more importantly the people that they are given out to. Let’s face it one of the primary objectives of giving away any flash drive is the grab people’s attention, to get them interested in what you’re doing, your brand, your new product or buying from you. We know from the feedback we get that they make a great impact when handed out at press launches particularly if the custom flash drive has been made into the shape of the product being launched and even more so when it’s been pre-loaded with the press release, product information links to web sites and promo videos!

There’s also a really strong likelihood that photos of the custom drive will make their way onto websites likes Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest – all of which helps to further promote the brand or product and of course gain those much wanted “likes”, links and comments across lots of Social Media sites.

Given the extra impact or “wow” factor they created compared to more basic printed versions it often comes as a surprise to customers to find that customised versions are only a few pennies more than standard versions. There are no set-up or tooling costs, the minimum order quantity is a little higher at 200 pcs and the lead time is a little longer at 3-4 weeks but the end results are well worth it!

You don’t even have to supply fully worked up 3D CAD drawings either because we take care of all of that – all we need from you to get started is some good quality images of the sort of thing you want your custom USB flash drive to look like – some photos or product brochures will do!

Interested? Just give us a call or email us at sales@usb2u.co.uk

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Standard or Custom USB Sticks – You Decide

Posted by USB2U on 5th November 2013 | Permalink

With hundreds of different standard models of USB memory sticks to choose from is it really worth the extra effort, cost and wait of getting your own custom shape of USB memory stick produced?

Of all the “standard” USB memory stick models available the one that probably offers the greatest degree of flexibility in terms of print is the credit card shaped version – the large print area on the front and back of the card means that pretty much any image no matter how complex can be accommodated. Typically this means that a full colour image (with full bleed to the edge of the card) is printed on one side and then a some text, often including phone numbers, website address and strap line or slogan is printed on the reverse.

The USB cards are only 2mm thick so slot neatly into any wallet or purse and they come in memory sizes from 128MB all the way up to 32GB.

Whilst the cards are stunning they don’t make quite the same impact (visually or physically) as a well-executed Custom USB stick. Compare the two actual USB sticks shown here for the bathstore – both look great but without doubt the one that’s going to get all of the attention is the USB duck – it’s in their corporate colours, it’s cute and it’s just a great design that works well with the bathstore brand. OK, it might not be as practical for everyday use as the USB card but that’s the trade-off.

bathstore USB Cards and USB Duck

bathstore USB Cards and USB Duck

If you want to hand out USB sticks that are going to generate a big impact, generate lots of “chatter” and really help to push and develop the brand then a fully bespoke version is going to be the best choice.

Don’t be put off by concerns of high set-up costs, big minimum order quantities and long lead-times because these factors simply don’t exist anymore.  There are now NO tooling or set-up costs, the minimum order quantity levels have been reduced from several thousand to 200 pcs and the lead times have been slashed to around 4 weeks!

You don’t even have to supply detailed 2D or 3D designs or artwork. All that’s needed is a good quality photograph of the product you want made into a USB stick and the rest is then taken care of by USB2U. At the end of the process you’ll not only take delivery of some great custom sticks but you’ll own the design so the sticks will be unique to you.

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How Do I Order Custom USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 23rd September 2013 | Permalink

Lots of people seem intimated and put off ordering fully customised USB memory sticks because they think they’ll be very expensive, that you have to order thousands of them and because they think it will take months to organise.

Some people also think that they need 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) drawings of their design and that they’re responsible for producing these – all of the above is incorrect.

To be clear we’re also not talking here about standard factory USB sticks that are printed or engraved with a logo or design but rather we’re talking about bespoke 2D or 3D designs that are built to-order. Printed or engraved USB memory sticks can be delivered in as little as 24hrs but something built to order does take a little longer but not as long as you might think. Here are some basic facts on how you order your own fully customised USB memory sticks:

Minimum Order Quantities: These have come down dramatically over the last few years and now we can custom build just 100 USB sticks. Ideally we prefer to make at least 200-300 but if you only need 100 it can be done.

Prices: You will pay more for a 2D or 3D custom design but typically you’ll only be paying about 50p to £1.00 per unit more (less if you’re ordering more than 500). There are NO additional set-up or tooling fees. Bear in mind that you’ll also “own” the end design so no-one else can have USB sticks produced using your design so the small premium you pay will ensure you have exclusivity of use.

Lead times: A realistic timeframe to work to is about 4 weeks. This is plenty of time to agree a design, to get physical proofs manufactured and signed off and then to produce the sticks and get them airfreighted in from the factory (they’ll be produced in our factory in China) and then finally this gives us enough time to QA them on arrival, repackage them and get them out to you via UPS.

Artwork requirement: You don’t need to supply fully worked up CAD drawings or detailed artwork (unless you have this ready). If it’s a product you want making into a USB sticks (like those shown on this page) then what we’ll need is some high quality photographs of the product and the product dimensions. If it’s a word or phrase that you need making into a USB stick (again, see examples on this page) then we just need a decent high resolution image to work with.

So in summary it’s easy and for what you get it’s a relatively inexpensive option that will deliver a product with a real “wow” factor. If you are interested the best thing to do to get things started is to give us a call and we can talk you through the options.

Custom-USB-Shapes

Custom-USB-Shapes

Custom-USB-Words

Custom-USB-Words

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Custom USB Challenge

Posted by USB2U on 28th August 2013 | Permalink

If there’ one thing we like doing more than anything else it’s working with our customers to deliver innovative, fun and exciting custom USB memory sticks that get people talking. Whilst we supply hundreds of thousands of promotional USB memory sticks every year to tens of thousands of companies it’s the custom requests that really get us excited. Why? Well, whilst “regular” promotional USB memory sticks are great and whilst they still account for well over 95% of all of the USB sticks we sell it’s the custom ones that we remember.

So, if you follow that logic through then if we remember them then you can be pretty sure that anyone that’s given one is going to remember it. Whether it’s a USB dinosaur, a set of USB lips, a USB duck or a USB Nike trainer they all create an impact, a buzz and typically a flurry of activity of social network sites and picture sites like Pinterest! It’s well known fact that people like to be given USB sticks (see the research from the BPMA) but they “love” to be given a well thought out and fun custom USB stick.

So, if your company is thinking about using promotional USB sticks as part of an overall advertising and marketing strategy then you might want to explore the options to commission your own fully bespoke USB sticks. Surprisingly they are not as expensive as you might think (prices are typically only a little more than “standard” sticks) and these days there are no set-up or tooling costs to worry about and the minimum order quantities are only a couple of hundred!

What you do need to factor in though is time! Mot good things are worth waiting for and it’s the same with any bespoke item be it a suit, a dress, a piece of furniture. It’s the same with USB’s – a standard model can be printed and delivered in as little as 24hrs but for a custom model made to your design then realistically you need to allow 4-6 weeks. It’s possible to rush things though in closer to 4 weeks but only if you have your design ready and you’re geared up to sign off photographic and physical samples/proofs at the drop of a hat.

So don’t be put off commissioning custom USB sticks because of cost – the very small incremental cost is more than offset by the impact and buzz they’ll make. But, do allow time to get them designed, the moulds built and the samples approved.

Hopefully the images shown here and on our own Pinterest pages will illustrate the art of what’s possible and encourage you to take up the Custom USB challenge.

Custom USB Sticks from USB2U

Custom USB Sticks from USB2U

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More stunning Custom USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 28th May 2013 | Permalink

We’ve seen a bit of a run on orders for fully customised USB memory sticks over the past few weeks and as ever the end results look stunning. These latest examples illustrate the breadth of what’s possible and the quality of the finished product.

Metal-Custom-USB-Sticks

Metal-Custom-USB-Sticks

What’s interesting about these models is that they show you what can be achieved with PVC (the standard material used for custom USB memory sticks) and metal (as shown here with the F1 cars and Planes) – both materials make an impact but in subtly different ways:

  • Custom Metal USB Memory Sticks tend to rely on the shape of the product to get their message across, they’re often engraved but more than anything they’re heavy! If say you’ve ordered X500 of these then you’ll know it when they arrive because the box they come in will take some lifting!

    The upside of this is they make a real “physical impact” when they’re handed out and there is no denying the look of quality they exude. The downside is the weight – they’re not the sort of thing people are going to pop on the end of a keyring or carry around every day in their pocket. Think more “paperweight” than the small, light USB sticks you pick up in your local PC store.

  • Custom PVC USB Memory Sticks are easier to mould, easier to produce, they are typically manufactured in full colour and intricate detail is not a problem. The end results are visually stunning and are they rarely fail to impress. Of course some products lend themselves to being turned into a custom USB sticks more than others but anything is possible.

    Compared to the metal versions PVC models are light and a loop can be factored into the design/mould if you want your customers to be able to attach them to a keyring or lanyard.

Custom-USB-PVC

Custom-USB-PVC

Whichever custom option is chosen (metal or PVC) there is no doubt that they generally make a much bigger impact when handed out than standard “printed” USB sticks and they have a tendency to go viral with people posting photos of them on websites like  Pinterest, Flickr and Instagram! So, if you want to give your advertising or marketing campaign a bit of a kick then you might want to consider commissioning your own Custom Drives – remember at the end of the process you’ll own the design and mould so the finished drives will be unique to you!

Order Custom Flash drives from USB2U during May or June and we’ll waive the normal tooling and set up fees and we’ll drop the minimum order quantity to 200 pieces!

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