Despite the continued growth in use of cloud based data storage services you can’t escape the fact that USB memory sticks are everywhere these days. Long gone are the dominant days of the CD and DVD. USB memory sticks are now the most popular way to save, store and carry data files. They remain a key business tool for many and they continue to play an important role in the daily life of hundreds of thousands of students.
The rise to dominance has not been quick. The first commercially available memory sticks hit the market back in 2002 and the first generation used the original USB 1.0 standard, they had a typical storage capacity of 16MB and they were typically boring, rectangular “lumps” of plastic – the focus then was on functionality and not design.
Skip forward 13 years and today USB sticks (or flash drives as some people prefer to call them) have evolved into a much more sophisticated product that is available in thousands of different styles, designs, colours. More fundamentally they use the latest USB 3.0 standards, they are fast and by comparison to the first generation products they carry HUGE amounts of data – basic models now have storage capacities of 4GB or 8GB but 256GB are available.
In the midst of all of this development and market growth Memory sticks have also become incredibly popular promotional giveaways. Here are just a few reasons why:
1. Brand development and brand exposure – Branded USB Memory sticks are a fantastic way to get your brand in front of an existing or potential customer. They’re a popular product and people just like being given them
2. Content delivery – With the vast amounts of storage on offer they are a great way to deliver content. The data can be passive (PDF files for example) which the user would need to click on to view or interactive for a more immersive experience.
3. Keepsakes – Branded USB Memory sticks make excellent ‘keepsakes’ and there is a high probability that users will save their own information onto them thus making them a valuable asset with high-perceived value.
4. They’re pretty cheap to buy – The cost of flash memory (the heart of any USB stick onto which the data is saved) has fallen dramatically over the past few years. As a result USB memory sticks have become a more attractive promotional option for many. If you buy in bulk they’ll cost less than £2 per stick (printed and with data loaded)
5. There are now thousands of designs and styles to choose from and if none of the “standard” shapes are suitable its relatively easy to get a fully customised (bespoke) solution, you just need to build in a couple of extra weeks into the lead time and be prepared to pay a little more for them.
6. Fast delivery – delivery times are now as little as 24hrs, which includes the printing of a logo so if you are pushed for a branded solution/gift in a hurry they might be suitable.
7. The minimum order quantity for fully printed/customised USB drives is only 25 pieces.
8. CD / DVDs are now seen as old hat and are a technology that few companies now want to associate their brand with whereas USB memory sticks are seen a new, innovative, and to some degree “sexy” and are the “new kids on the block”
9. The technology that USB memory sticks are built on is well established and is highly reliable.
10. There are lots of suppliers of branded USB memory sticks in the market today so they are relatively easy to source and the increased competition has kept prices low and quality high.