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Archive for the ‘Custom USB’ Category

Custom USB Memory Sticks – Can You Spot The Difference?

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Custom USB Memory sticks are an incredibly cost effective way to drive awareness of a new product, launch a new brand or design or just get people talking about what you’re doing. Whilst standard USB sticks printed with a logo look great and they certainly do a job they simply don’t have the “wow” factor that a good custom USB stick can deliver.

It’s partly because custom models demonstrate that significantly more effort and thought has gone into their production and partly because they are novel, cute and interesting. When handed out they rarely fail to generate a really positive response with recipients often taking to Social Networking sites to post photos of their new acquisition.

It’s this secondary exposure of the product that really helps to justify the marginally increased cost of a custom USB stick – standard printed versions are appreciated but rarely boasted about and rarely posted about and as such the brand exposure us is one dimensional. By comparison fully bespoke, customised versions that catch the imagination deliver multi-level exposure because.

For evidence that they work just look at these two real versions of a Custom USB tube; the first version (the orange one) was so well received that the company who commissioned it ordered a slightly different version (black and orange) to promote the launch of a new high performance lubricant and sealant – can you spot the difference!

Custom USB Sticks - Orange Tube

Custom USB Sticks - Orange Tube

Get the original design right (as in the case of these tubes) and you can reduce the on-cost of repeat orders because you own the design and mould used to create the sticks. Changing the colour or adding small additional details on subsequent orders is relatively easy and inexpensive.

The myth of these bespoke flash drives is that they are incredibly expensive and take months to produce but the reality is very different. Yes, they do cost a little more than their standard equivalents but only around 20% more and all the upfront tooling costs that used to put customers off have now been reduced to zero! Typical lead times are around 4 weeks for the first order (to allow for tooling and approvals) but repeat order time scales are as little as 2 weeks.

Custom USB Sticks - Black and Orange

Custom USB Sticks - Black and Orange

The small additional effort to organise them and the marginal increase in cost is certainly worth the effort.

USB2U have an in-house design service that can help in turning ideas and concepts into reality so don’t fret too much if all you have a rough design or concept – just talk to your USB2U account manager and they will guide you through the process.

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Custom USB Memory Sticks – Can You Spot The Difference?

USB Pen – No License Required

Monday, October 29th, 2012

If you were listening to Chris Evans last week on Radio 2 you’d have heard him bemoaning the fact that some schools issue a Pen Licence to students when they are deemed capable of moving up from using a pencil to a biro or fountain pen.

The thrust of his argument seemed to be that there is enough mollycoddling of kids these days and they should be allowed to use pens whenever they felt like it. But, from a teachers perspective these licenses are a useful way to help motivate children to focus on how they write correctly before being allowed to use ink. There will always be those that are anti these sort of initiatives because it might put undue pressure on “little Johnny” and lead to bullying if he takes a little longer than his peer group to achieve his pen license but typically these are the same parents that object to competitive sports in school – sorry, but in life there are winners and losers and this is a lesson best early.

Pen Licence

Pen Licence

The vast majority of children who have attended schools where Pen Licenses were used are more likely to have fond memories of being awarded their Pen License and will have taken great pride in the achievement of finally being able to unleash ink onto the pages of their schoolbooks.

Whatever your thoughts are on the use of Pen Licenses by schools there is one type of “pen” which requires no license to use and that’s a USB pen! This does assume that the “USB pen” is just a USB memory stick (also referred to by many as a USB pen) and not a USB pen that also doubles as a writing pen – confused?

Well, there are some USB pens on the market that are primarily writing pens (biro’s rollerballs and fountain pens) but hidden in the “belly” of the pen is a USB memory stick (typically accessed by twisting the barrel of the pen) – these hybrid USB pens are rarely used by young school children of pre-Pen License aged because they are a little more expensive than a standard USB sticks and typically you can’t buy them in shops but instead have to order them from USB specialists and even then there are minimum order quantities of 25 pcs.

USB Pens

USB Pens

USB pens (writing pen hybrids) are more popular with businesses, consultants and seminar organisers who are looking for a promotional product that can carry their brand and onto which they can also pre-load their sales collateral or their speaker notes/slides.

These examples were supplied by USB2U who are one of the leading suppliers of promotional and custom USB memory sticks in the UK.

 

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USB Pen – No License Required

Professional Photographers – Custom USB Sticks are Not Expensive

Monday, October 15th, 2012

I was incredibly fortunate this weekend to be invited to the wedding of a family friend and despite the weather the day and evening was a triumph. The bride and groom looked fantastic, there were tears during the ceremony and throughout the speeches and after some great food (and not a little wine) everyone partied until late.

During the evening I got talking to the wedding photographer and asked if he had joined the ranks of other photographers that were now using custom USB memory sticks as an optional way to deliver his finished work on. His response was interesting because he immediately dismissed them as being “too expensive” and consequently not something that he was really interested in.

Now clearly we are a little biased about the benefits of a really good printed or engraved USB memory stick but his immediate dismissal of them was a surprise not least because we know from the sales enquiries that we get every day from professional and wedding photographers that many in the profession don’t share his views. In fact, what was once a trickle of enquiries has, of late, turned into a steady flow and the enquiry levels grow week on week.

For many the benefits and opportunities are clear:

  • Good quality USB sticks printed or engraved with the logo or design of a photographer help to differentiate the service that they offer.
  • Just like a good website, a good portfolio of work and great references customers they project an image of professionalism and quality.
  • Unlike CD’s and DVD’s which can look a bit “tacky” wooden and metal USB sticks supplied in a complimentary gift box have a real “wow” factor about them.
  • They offer an additional earning opportunity – whilst people might baulk at paying a premium for a CD or DVD upselling them a really good looking USB stick is relatively easy (we see this in lots of other sectors as well where people happily pay for their personal data or images stored on a USB stick, e.g. the data from motor racing track day experiences and  4-D images from baby scans)
  • They’re a great way for the bride and groom to supply copies of their wedding photographs to their friends and family or even to use as wedding favours.

Good quality high performance USB sticks in a gift box can start at around £4-£5 each which given the huge benefits and additional earning potential they offer is not expensive. Clearly, if you just compare the price to the price of a cheap CD or DVD they seem expensive but that ignores the overall value they offer.

I remain hopeful that the next wedding I attend the photographer will be using USB memory sticks and hopefully USB sticks sourced from USB2U.

Custom USB sticks for Wedding Photographers

Custom USB sticks for Wedding Photographers

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Professional Photographers – Custom USB Sticks are Not Expensive

Custom USB Memory Sticks – What are the benefits?

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Standard printed and engraved USB Memory sticks are incredibly popular at the moment with more and more companies recognising the benefits they deliver. The downside of this is that as more companies use promotional USB sticks to promote their products or to support their below the line marketing activities it is becoming more challenging to make an impact.

The “wow” factor of being given a USB sticks that was prevalent just a few years ago is in danger of being replaced with a “so what” response. It’s not because the inherent benefits of the drives are any different today than a few years ago it’s just than when you’ve already been given 4 or 5 USB sticks being given another one is just not exciting or interesting anymore. They might perform a function (and perform it well) but the excitement that was associated with being given one for free has certainly dissipated over the years – is it a case of familiarity breeds contempt with USB sticks?

In an increasingly crowded market one of the ways of making your USB sticks stand out is get them produced in a shape or design that is unique to your business or even manufactured in the shape of a product you sell. Custom USB sticks are easier to order than you might think and done well they can generate a significant amount of interest and chatter.

A few years ago you would have had to order custom USB sticks in the thousands to get the unit cost down to a sensible level but today with advances in design, tooling and production (as well as greater competition) price have tumbled as have the minimum order thresholds. They are still going to be a little more expensive than any standard “factory” designed stick but the impact they still deliver the “wow” factor that was common with any free memory stick a few years ago.

If you do decided to order some custom USB memory sticks then bear in mind that the lead time for them will be a little longer than for standard USB sticks. The extra time is to allow for 3-D CAD drawings and physical samples to be produced and approved before the finals production begins. So, plan ahead, allow a couple of extra weeks- it will be time well spent because the end results can be spectacular.

In terms of design or shape pretty much anything is possible as you can see from the examples below. You’re also not limited to plastic because they can be produced in metal, bamboo or wood – it all depends on the effect you’re trying to achieve.

The best advice is to find a supplier that has a proven track record of producing Custom USB sticks and a supplier with local, in-house design capabilities that can work with you on developing your ideas into the final concept.

Custom USB Memory Sticks

Custom USB Memory Sticks

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Custom USB Memory Sticks – What are the benefits?

Have You Got an Eye for Design Then Build Your Own Unique USB Flash Drive

Monday, August 20th, 2012

USB flash drives remain one of the most popular ways to store and transport data files. They are used across all age groups and demographics and are increasingly used by companies as a way to drive sales, build loyalty and disseminate information about new products and services.

There are literally hundreds of different styles and shapes of USB drives to choose from but most of them tend to be variations around a common core them – a rectangular piece of plastic, metal or wood that is roughly 6cm x 2cm. Of course this broadly common shape helps to drive ease of use and comfort – people know what they are buying and immediately know how to use it.

The downside with this level of familiarity in a product is that it designers and manufactures tend to stay in the market “comfort zone” so we all end up with USB sticks that look pretty much the same. In a world where plenty of people want to stand out from the crowd and actually want something different, something that reflects their personality maybe the answer is to design and build something themselves.

This is not as crazy as it might first sound because the core component of every USB stick is the same – it’s a PCB (printed circuit board) attached to a USB connector and embedded onto the PCB is the flash memory and a controller chip. In essence this is the USB flash drive but to make it strong enough for daily use a shell encases these components and making a unique shell is not that difficult. You just need some basic design flair, some imagination and some basic assembly skills and access to a laser cutter, some strong glue and other basic craft tools might help as well!

Build Your Own USB Flash Drives

Build Your Own USB Flash Drives

Lots of schools DT departments are now buying USB components and challenging their students to design and build USB flash drives as part of their GCSE course work. Companies are also commissioning custom USB flash drives often in the shape of a product or logo – these custom USB sticks are essentially “self-design and build” projects where the mould manufacture and assembly is outsourced. The companies who commission these custom USB sticks end up with something that is truly unique and something that typically stimulates lots more interest and feedback than a standard USB stick that is simply printed or engraved with a logo.

USB2U supply design & build kits if you fancy having a go yourself. Alternatively just ask them supply the fully assembled sticks – you just need to supply the idea and design!

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Have You Got an Eye for Design Then Build Your Own Unique USB Flash Drive

What’s Putting Customers Off Of Buying Custom USB Flash Drives

Friday, February 24th, 2012

This year, 2012 was supposed to be the year that businesses really started to catch onto the benefits that fully customised USB flash drives deliver. To be clear here we’re not talking about standard “factory” models that have been printed, engraved and maybe pantone colour matched but rather USB flash drives that are made into a bespoke shape; typically a shape that represents a product or brand.

There are lots of excellent examples around from companies like Orange Mobile, Nike, Disney and other global brands. These companies have all commissioned and purchased fully customised USB flash drives because they know that they really promote their brand, their product and their customer “love them”.

There is no doubting that custom USB flash drive, particularly those that are well designed and reflect a companies product(s) or brand grab people attention and fire their imagination. They become a talking point, they make brilliant “ice breakers” at meetings and events and they help fire the imagination and enthusiasm of journalists at “yet another press event”.

Custom USB Sticks

Custom USB Sticks

Of course they are not a panacea for all sales, marketing, promotional and press “challenges” but, they are a brilliant communication tool that really ought to be used more frequently.

So why aren’t more companies buying them?

There seem to be a few simple reasons that are putting marketers and businesses off custom USB flash drives and these are:

  • Too hard to do – There is a misconception that it’s simply too much effort to design and commission a customised USB stick.  The truth is that it’s actually really easy and you don’t have to use expensive external agencies or designers. Most good suppliers of promotional USB flash drives will have their own in-house designers that will normally come up with some concepts and designs free of charge. Throw the challenge at them and let them do the hard work!
  • It takes too long – The lead time for a custom USB stick is longer than it’s printed counterpart but only by a couple of weeks and the end results are incomparable. The extra couple of weeks are to allow time for a custom mould to be produced, samples made and signed off and then the final version of the USB sticks to be manufactured.
  • They cost too much – Yes, they will costs a little more than “standard” USB sticks but not hugely. As a general rule of thumb expect to pay around 25% more for a custom model but bear in mind you will “own” the design and the end product will be exclusive to you.

The reality is that custom USB sticks do cost a little more, they take a little more effort to arrange and you need to allow a little more time to get them BUT they you will ultimately get more brand recognition, brand recall and brand exposure that standard, printed USB sticks

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What’s Putting Customers Off Of Buying Custom USB Flash Drives

Are Your Suppliers Of Custom USB Sticks All Heart

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Custom USB memory sticks are available in all sorts of different shapes and sizes and if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for you can always get your own design commissioned. But, before you rush to get your own custom USB sticks designed and manufactured it’s worth spending some time researching what is already available.

Don’t think you’re going to be restricted to a range of pretty basic rectangular shaped plastic sticks because the range now is vast – off the shelf options include square drives, round drives, drives made from wood, leather and metal, flash drives that “glow”, bamboo drives that are 100% recyclable, flash drives that are made to wear like a wristband and flash drives that are in the shape of a heart.

The list is almost endless and then add to this colour variations within each model, the fact that some come “trimmed” with leather or metal and you start to get a feel for just how overwhelming it can be to narrow it down to a suitable drive.

If you do struggle or you’re not the most decisive of people when it comes to making a decision about these sort of things you could ask your supplier to work up a few examples for you – most will do this and most have in-house designers that over the years will have developed an “eye” for what works and what doesn’t. Push the problem (or challenge) at them and get them to apply some creativity to the sales process.

Remember that whichever Custom USB sticks you finally choose you should get your suppliers to pre-load your sales material, press release information etc. onto the sticks – and don’t expect to pay for this service unless you are loading huge amounts of data onto the sticks. It’s not a question of the suppliers being “all heart” and doing this for the love of it but instead it’s a reflection of just how competitive things are in the market at the moment.

Heart Shaped USB Memory Sticks

Heart Shaped USB Memory Sticks

Other things to expect from your supplier as part of the “standard service” are; free delivery (in country anyway), free print and payment with the order should be a “no no”. It’s fair enough if you’ve not traded with them before to expect paying as they ship your order to you but not as you place your order which could be up to 2-3 weeks before they ship them out. You might even be able to squeeze out a free “rush service” if you’re in a hurry and they have spare capacity – it’s certainly worth asking the question.

If you’re suppliers are not able to supply the above core services and/or are not prepared to negotiate on some of the things they would normally charge for them be prepared to walk away or at the very least shop around for competitive quotes.

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Are Your Suppliers Of Custom USB Sticks All Heart

USB2U Are the 4th Emergency Service For Custom USB Sticks

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

If you didn’t realise Chinese New Year was going to have such a big impact on your ability to source custom USB memory sticks and you need them now then you’re in for a nasty surprise.

Custom USB Emergency Delivery

Custom USB Emergency Delivery

During Mid-January to Mid-Feb it’s mayhem as companies and schools looking for custom USB sticks scramble to secure the limited amount of stock that is readily available in the UK. Of course if you can wait a few weeks it’s not a problem but if you need them quickly then it’s best to start looking for a supplier that has stock in the UK and can get them printed and delivered in your timeframes. Unfortunately there are very few companies that hold stock and even fewer that can print them and get them delivered in a day or two!

If you find yourself hunting around for custom USB sticks during Chinese New Year you’ll soon realise that it’s not pleasant. It’s a bit like being a parent at Christmas trying to hunt down that elusive “must have” toy for your child – you end up in a war pitted against other parents all after the same thing and all desperately hunting down the elusive toy/gift.

Of course if you’re working on a project, a show or a press event and you’re up against a hard deadline then, the last thing you need is to be told by your supplier that they can’t deliver your order on time.

All the planning and preparation in the world can’t accommodate these little “bombs” when they happen but what you can do is try and factor in a little contingency in your plans. Granted, it’s not always easy and contingency has a nasty habit of just being “absorbed” in the project.

If you do find yourself in a tight spot and you need custom USB sticks in a hurry then don’t panic. At USB2U we pride ourselves on being the “4th Emergency Service” of the custom USB  stick market. Unlike our competitors we do hold lots of plain, unprinted stock in the UK which we can print and get delivered to you in as little as 24hrs!!

You won’t have the full range of USB sticks we sell to choose from and you might have to compromise of colour and memory size but iif you are up against it or you’ve been let down by another supplier we can normally help.

Just give us a call and speak to one of our experienced sales team – they’ll talk you though the options and our in-house designer will work with you to make sure we can deliver a custom printed USB stick that not only gets you out of trouble but delights you as well!

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USB2U Are the 4th Emergency Service For Custom USB Sticks

10 Years On Some Of The Old Classic Custom USB Sticks Are Still Popular

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

We’re now in our 10th year of supplying USB flash drives and surprisingly some of the custom USB flash drive models we used to sell right at the start of the company are still being sold today.

Oval Classic USB

Oval Classic USB

They might not be being sold in quite the same numbers that they used to but we still get the occasional order for these classic custom USB drives. Part of their enduring appeal is that they’re a little larger than many of the newer (smaller) models, the core piece that carries the print (or engraving) is made from tactile brushed aluminium and when they’re printed they look fantastic.

The slightly larger physical size of these classic USB sticks gives a little more scope for printing larger and more complex images. The outer “trim colour” that runs around the edge of the USB drive can also be changed to compliment the colour of any logo or design printed.

Harbour Classic USB

Harbour Classic USB

If you’re a fan of “old school” USB flash drives then the “Harbour” or “Oval” models that we sell will be right up your street.

If you want something a little more contemporary but you need the drive to accommodate a large or complex print then you might want to consider the new USB Credit Cards – these are super thin at only 2mm thick, they are the same shape as a standard bank or credit card and you can print on the whole surface area on both sides of the card.

Despite being only 2mm thick these USB Credit Cards are available in all the standard memory sizes up to a whopping 32GB.

Whether you order classic style USB sticks or any of our more contemporary models remember that we offer free design, free mock-up’s free samples, free 4 colour printing, free gift boxes and free delivery to any address in the UK.

If you’ve not ordered from us before you might want to check out what some of our customers are saying about us on the TrustPilot review website.

USB Credit Cards

USB Credit Cards

Interested? Give us a call or fill out the on-line quote enquiry form and we’ll get back to you in a flash!

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10 Years On Some Of The Old Classic Custom USB Sticks Are Still Popular

How We Design & Build Custom USB Sticks

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Custom USB sticks that are built to your design and in the image of one of your products are one of the best ways to create a buzz about your products or company and get lots of “chatter” going about what you do or sell. They’re a brilliant tool to attract prospective customers to your stand or booth at a conference or show, they make great “leave-behinds” for your sales people and they do a fantastic job at press launches and press events in generating interest.

Custom USB Nike

Custom USB Nike

Standard shaped USB flash drives that are over printed with your logo or artwork are “OK” but if you really want to grab peoples interest and get them talking then Custom USB sticks are the way to go.

Surprising fully customised USB sticks are only a little more expensive that standard USB stick but you do, understandably, have to allow a little extra time for the design to be developed, approved, a mould built and for the sticks to be hand crafted. A typical lead for a bespoke USB stick is around 3-4 weeks from concept approval.

Custom USB sticks work in just the same way as a normal USB flash drive and you can specify the size of memory used in the sticks. Ideally to get the best return from any investment in Custom USB sticks you also need to pre-load them with your sales brochures, press release information, media files etc.

At USB2U we appreciate that not everyone has access to in-house designers to develop the initial concepts and then to

Custom USB Cherry

Custom USB Cherry

work these up into 3-D CAD drawings that are then used to build the moulds from so our experienced team will work with you from idea to delivery. We have years of experience of designing and developing customised sticks on behalf a wide range of customers so if you come to us with the basic outline of an idea we can normally turn it into something special and more importantly something that will work and be functional as a USB stick.

Over the years we’ve produced custom USB sticks for a wide range of clients including Nike, Orange Telecom, Adville and Disney to name but a few. If you’re interested in getting your own custom USB sticks produced then either give us a call on our Freephone number (Tel: 0800 008 7079) or fill in our on-line quote form on the website.

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How We Design & Build Custom USB Sticks
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