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Archive for the ‘promotional flash drives’ Category

Branded USB Sticks from USB2U are Gilt-Edged Promotional Products

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Promotional products have been with us for over 200 years albeit the first “gift” was just a button that was handed out to encourage voters in the USA to elect George Washington to office! In the subsequent two centuries things have gotten a little bit more sophisticated but in the UK it was only in the 1950’s that things really started to take off and companies began to harness the power of promotional gifts.

Today tens of thousands of companies give away promotional gifts with a value that runs into the hundreds of millions of pounds every year! They give them away to promote what they do, what they sell or just to help build their brand and develop customer recognition and loyalty. Promotional products are typically printed, engraved or embossed with the company’s name, logo or marketing strap line.

They’re commonly used as a “give-away” at trade shows, exhibitions, sporting events, conferences and as part of marketing campaigns where recipients might for example be asked to sign up to receive email offers from the company offering the gift.

In 2012 the BPMA (British Promotional Merchandise Association) commissioned a piece of research on behalf of its members to establish what the most popular promotional product was. The results from 1,000 respondents not only showed that promotional gifts had an incredibly positive effect and were, more than any other form of medium, likely to engender brand loyalty and encourage buying behaviour.

They also showed that the most popular product to give is a USB memory stick closely followed by the more humble mug!

Gilt Edged Promototional Products from USB2U

Gilt Edged Promototional Products from USB2U

So, if you are looking for a “gilt-edged” promotional product (something defined as high grade, top quality and with very low risk) then you won’t go far wrong with a promotional USB memory stick! There are lots of different styles and models to choose from and with prices (in volume) starting from well below £2.00 per unit they’re not going to break the bank either.

Unlike other give-aways they can also be used to hand out loads of information about products and services. Simply pre-load the USB sticks with files, video clips, photos, price lists etc. before they are handed out! These days you don’t even have to worry about the grunt work of loading the data onto each USB stick – just hand the data files to your supplier and they’ll do the rest for you and usually they won’t charge for this value added service either!

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USB Promotional Cards – Drive More Sales

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Even today when we are immersed in social media and blitzed my marketing emails there is still a place for a well designed and well targeted print campaign. Often though the objective of any printed material is just to entice or encourage the reader to go to a web site and either buy something, read something or watch something so the challenge is how to “engage” with the reader and make sure they do this.

There are several options to achieve this the most basic of which is to print the details of the website on the printed material and hope the reader finds it and types it in correctly to their browser. A step up from this is to include a QR code on the brochure or leaflet – when scanned with a QR code reader on a smart phone or tablet this will take the customer directly to your web page(s). This is a reasonably popular option with marketers but for lots of people they have no idea what a QR code is, how to use is and many won’t have a QR code reader installed on their phone or tablet.

There is a third way and whilst it’s new it is beginning to gain some momentum. This new “third way” to embed a removable USB “key” into the printed material (see image below). The USB card simply “pops” out and when inserted into any USB port on a PC or Mac will automatically open the users browser and go directly to the landing page pre-programmed into the web key.

Promotional-P@per-USB-Cards

Promotional-P@per-USB-Cards

Unlike a QR code a Web Key (that looks like a USB stick) arouses interest and almost universally people that are given one of these packs will succumb to the temptation and plug the USB Key in. Your challenge is to make sure the webpage they are taken to is compelling, has offers and deals that encourage them to stay on the pages and ultimately to complete whatever transaction you are trying to conclude.

Do this and do it well and you should see something like a 40% uplift in your messages impact! So taken by this product were the judges of European Promotional Products Industry that they awarded it with their Promotional Gift Award in 2013.

The P@per USB Cards have been designed by Paris based Pixika and are now available in the UK exclusively from USB2U. At USB2U we can take care of the printed material, the USB web keys, the pre-loading of the links and we can even offer you a comprehensive conversion/tracking solution.

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Best Promotional Product for Trade Shows, Seminars and Conferences

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

With the upturn in the economy and a general feeling of wellbeing slowing making its way across the county lots of companies will this year start to reignite their marketing and advertising activities. Many will be dipping their toes back into exhibiting at trade shows, lots will be organising seminars and conferences and even more will be looking to attend such events.

If your company is exhibiting or organising an event then at some point you’ll no doubt be considering whether you should invest in promotional products to support your sales team at the show/event.

Whether you measure it in terms of money, time or resources, exhibiting at a trade show is a large investment and as such it’s critical that this commitment is fully optimised. Lots of energy tends to get put into the location of the stand in the exhibition hall, the design of the stand, the lighting and who’s going to staff but often important things like giveaways and collateral for the show tend to get overlooked.

This is a mistake because whilst an on-stand promotion, a competition or a promotional product won’t make or break a show it will certainly help to maximise your investment. When you’re competing for the attention of potential customers against hundreds of other exhibitors its vital that you equip you sales team with all the tools they need and a giveaway that pulls people onto the stand and gets them talking to your sales team is key.

Promotional USB Flash Drives

Promotional USB Flash Drives

Your challenge is to decide what the best promotional product for your company, your sales team and critically for your target audience. What give-away is going to deliver the greatest footfall onto your stand and what’s going to get your product and company to stand out from all the others?  If you’ve ever attended a show then you’ll know only too well that at the end of the day you leave with tired legs, heavy hearts and laden down with carrier bags full of brochures. As an exhibitor you need to “wow” the attendees and ideally secure an order on the stand. Failing that you need to get them interested enough so that when they get back to their desk they recall your company and remain open to further dialogue about your products/services.

The problem is that there are lots of inexpensive giveaways that you could consider including printed bags (which double as a “walking advert” for your brand), printed pens (which cost pennies). There are even sweets that can be printed with your brand and help get people to approach your stand.

With all of these simple ideas there is very little carry through post the event, there is no incentive to use them on an on-going basis and they don’t deliver much information about you’re company or products.

Much better to use a promotional USB flash drive with your brand or logo printed onto it and more importantly with your company brochures, pricing and promotional videos loaded onto it! Not only are promotional USB flash drives much cheaper now than they were a couple of years ago but they can be delivered (printed and data-loaded in as little as 48hrs)

More fundamentally research undertaken by the BPMA shows that of all the promotional gifs given away people prefer to be given memory sticks and they will keep them and use them after the show. This is good news for your brand because it means money spent on promotional USB sticks will lead to on-going brand exposure and of course your sales material will be there every time the flash drive is inserted into a PC!

USB2U deliver promotional USB flash drives in as little as 24hrs so if you do leave things right until the last minute don’t panic!

 

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Buy Your Promotional USB Sticks Now Whilst Prices Are Cheap

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

If you’re looking to buy promotional USB memory sticks for use in early 2014 then you might want to think about buying them now.  The reason is simple – they’re cheap at the moment but the current dip in prices is unlikely to last.

We’ve been supplying promotional USB sticks for the last 11 years and we see a fall in prices around this time every year and every year we advise customers to take advantage of the opportunity to buy early and save themselves a chunk of money. For budgetary reasons, sign-off reasons and because it just seems too early, many customers cannot commit to buy and understandably some sceptics think we’re just trying to drive sales (which of course to some degree we are).

The reality is that December always sees factory prices fall – it’s because it’s the “quiet period” when flash products for Christmas goods have already been manufactured and sold and it’s a few weeks ahead of the Chinese New Year when prices rocket because of the China “closedown”.

Promotional USB Memory Stick Prices Set to Rise

Promotional USB Memory Stick Prices Set to Rise

This year the impact on prices is even more pronounced because USB memory sticks and flash memory are traded in US Dollars ($) and at the moment the USD ($) is falling against the GBP (£) – over the last couple of months its dropped nearly 10% against the GBP (£) which has a direct impact on the price paid for Promotional USB Memory Sticks.

By way of illustration you can currently buy 500 x 8GB promotional USB sticks for well under £3.00 per stick!! To be clear that includes the printing (or engraving), a dataload and a simple white gift box for each USB stick. There are no other “hidden” costs of delivery costs. Less than £3.00 each for an 8GB USB Stick!

History suggests that between now and late January the core price of USB sticks will increase by 10% and of course if the USD ($) recovers then this could add another  5% – 10%. So, worst case the 500 X 8GB sticks could end up costing another £300 more in 4-6 weeks time.

So, if you can buy your promotional USB sticks now, or at least get your order in now then not only will you save yourself a few pounds but you won’t be rushing around at the last minute (in the midst of all the Chinese New Year madness) trying to find a supplier that can deliver the sticks you want, when you need them and for the budget you have.

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USB Memory Sticks Replace CD’s and DVD’s but is Cloud Storage the Next Shift

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Over the last 10 years USB memory sticks have evolved from being an early adopter, niche product, to the default way in which many of us now back up and carry our data around with us. CD’s and DVD’s are now all but dead with USB sticks being the default option albeit “cloud based” back-up solutions are starting to challenge the need for any form of physical medium.

The move from CD’s to DVD’s to USB memory sticks is a paradigm shift not unlike the move from film based photography to digital photography but how long will it be before the dominance of USB sticks is threatened.  The huge growth in the sale of tablets and smart phones (neither of which typically have USB ports) combined with faster and more reliable broadband and 4G solutions could accelerate the move from USB sticks to cloud based back-up solutions like Drop Box.

But, one area where the sale of USB memory sticks remains strong is in the promotional gift sector. Companies looking for a relatively inexpensive give-away with their brand/logo printed onto it are increasingly choosing promotional USB memory sticks – the primary reasons for this are:

  • USB Sticks have a high perceived value
  • They are well received and highly regarded as a promotional give away
  • Unlike pretty much any other promotional product they can be pre-loaded with lots of useful information in the form of promotional videos, sales brochures, tech sheets, price lists and links to Social Media and web sites.
  • They’re inexpensive – prices start at less than £2 per USB stick (fully printed or engraved and pre-loaded with data)
  • There a lots of different models and designs to choose from and they all look excellent printed up with a logo/design
  • They can be combined with a wide range of accessories and attractive gift boxes – all of which reinforce any brand printed on them and all add to the perceived value of the “gift” when handed out.
  • When brochures and other sales material that is normally printed and handed out is save electronically onto them then significant costs savings on print and distribution can be made.
Promotional USB Memory Sticks - The Popular Twister Model

Promotional USB Memory Sticks - The Popular Twister Model

So whilst USB sticks will come under increased pressure from cloud storage options for now at least their future as a promotional gift seems pretty much assured – after all you can’t really generate much excitement and warmth when you hand out a URL for your customers  to go and download your sales material.

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Cheap Promotional USB Sticks Can Be a False Economy

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Everyone likes a bargain and it’s no different when people are shopping around for promotional USB memory sticks. The problem is when you get the prices back from the various suppliers you’ve approached how can you be sure that you’re really comparing like to like. We’re in our 11th year of supplying USB sticks and other USB products and at times we find it hard so if you’re buying them for the first time it’s incredibly easy to get bamboozled and quite frankly it’s easy to get ripped off.

Of course everyone you get quotes from is going to say that they are only supplying “new”, “Grade A” top quality products with a guarantee that’s as long as the sentence handed out to Bradley Manning by in the US this week. But, the reality is that whilst USB flash drives might look the same on the outside it’s what under the skin of them that really matters. So unless you are willing to take your USB sticks apart when they arrive it really is an act of faith that you are getting what was promised when you placed your order.

There are a few basic things you can do to protect yourself and your company – after all it’s going to be your company’s brand that’s printed on the USB sticks so if they do fail then it’s going to be your brand that takes the hit and not the brand of the USB supplier!

Our advice is as follows:

Buy Local – Of course we’re bound to say it but we strongly recommend that you buy from a local reputable supplier that has a proven and visible track record of delivery and happy customers. There are loads of review sites around today including sites like TrustPilot so use them to check what other customers are saying.

The added advantage of buying local (as opposed to buying directly from China) is that if things do go wrong then you have recourse in the UK. Trying to get a refund or resolution to a problem from a Chinese supplier you spotted on the web can be challenging to say the least!

Company checks – Do some basic checks on the company you’re planning to buy from. If you have access to Experian or Equifax run a company search. Check them out on Linkedin it’s surprising what information it can throw up.

Check the Terms & Conditions on Supply – Some companies write into their conditions that they can undersupply by as much as 5% of your order and you have no recourse.

Warranties – a lifetime warranty sound great providing the company offering it is still going to be around in 6mths or a year to honour it.

Basic Checks to do when your USB sticks arrive:

  1. Insert one into your PC or Mac and check the properties to make sure it’s the correct memory size.
  2. Load files onto the USB stick close to the stated maximum capacity of the USB stick
  3. Remove the USB stick and plug it into another PC and make sure the files you loaded are still there
  4. If they are not then it’s likely that you’ve been sold a “masked” USB stick– this basically means your say 2GB stick is only a 1GB stick that has been made to look like a 2GB. Send them back!

If you’re loading large images or videos it’s also worth checking several to make sure they have loaded properly – If the sticks have been made using cheap sub-standard components then images can have lots of white lines across them and videos either won’t work or will be very jerky.

In summary when deciding where to place your order for promotional USB memory sticks don’t just go by the headline price unless you do so in the full knowledge of the possible consequences. Ideally choose a company that has an establish pedigree and can point to lots of repeat business and will offer guarantees and warranties on their products that have some meaningful recourse.

Buying on price and price alone is an easy option but to do so is to ignore the complexities and risks of what should, on the face of it, be a simple and safe transaction.

USB2U - Your Trusted Supplier for Promotional USB Memory Sticks

USB2U - Your Trusted Supplier for Promotional USB Memory Sticks

 

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Promotional USB Cards with a Removable USB Stick

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

One of the more popular promotional USB products to hit the market over the last couple of years has been the USB card. The early versions of these were all credit card shaped but they were much thicker than a standard credit or bank card at around 4-5mm. The latest versions are now super slim at just 2mm and they can be printed in full colour across the whole surface of the card (front and back) which makes them an ideal marketing tool.

Compared to standard USB memory sticks where you can typically only print on a small part of the stick the USB cards look great because every square millimetre of the card can be printed on and because the surface is nice and flat the results look stunning!

Different Styles of USB Cards

Different Styles of USB Cards

But it’s not just the thickness of these cards that has changed. The new cards are now available in a range of different shapes; squares, circles, ovals, triangles and rectangles. These new options throw up all sorts of interesting branding ideas – we’ve already produced USB Maltesers on the circular USB cards, USB condoms packs on the square USB cards, car badges on the oval cards and name badges on the mini rectangular USB cards!

The innovation hasn’t stopped with the increasing thinness and shape of the cards – we now have a new version of the USB credit card where the USB connector can be removed from the “host” card and used like a mini USB stick. Like all of the other cards this new version is only 2mm thick and can be printed in full on both sides but the USB element slides out from the card – don’t worry, it slides back in again as well and its precision engineered so when returned to the “host” credit card it won’t accidentally fall out.

USB Credit Cards

USB Credit Cards

Arguably these cards are a little easier to use than the standard ones that have a “flip out” mechanism which some people find a little fiddly until they are used to how they work. The “slide” option is certainly more intuitive but as ever a lot of it is down to personal preference.

At the moment the slider option is only available on the larger credit card version but we expect to introduce some other shape options soon.

If you’re interested in seeing what your logo or design might look like on any of our USB cards then simply drop us an email (sales@usb2u.co.uk) with your artwork and we’ll work up a range of different mock-ups for you – no cost and no obligation!

 

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USB Flash Drive Prices Rise by around 15%

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Sterling has been on the slide for the last couple of weeks and reached a 31-month low against the dollar on Friday. This was before the announcement by Moody’s of it downgrade of the UK from the much coveted AAA rating. Today sterling has continued its slide and it’s a brave man that would predict where things are likely to end up by the end this week.

Whilst a weakened sterling is good news for exports its really bad news for imports. Given all USB flash drives are manufactured in China and traded (paid for) in US dollars it’s particularly bad news for any business or educational body looking to buy printed or engraved USB memory sticks right now.

What makes things worse is that the factories in China that manufacture USB flash drives are just returning from a 2 week Chinese New Year Holiday. This long break creates a build-up in demand which in turn drives up prices. This annual “spike” in demand always drives up prices until things settle down again but this year there is the spectre of a “double whammy” of rising prices and falling currency values – combined the net effect is broadly a 15% increase in USB flash drive prices.

The Chinese New Year effect usually lasts around 4 -6 weeks before prices begin to come down again but an 8% fall in the value of the £ against the $ is unlikely to mean prices will return to where they were just a couple of weeks ago.

If you need to buy your promotional USB flash drives now or in at any time during the next few weeks then brace yourself for higher prices. If you can delay your purchase for even a couple of weeks it’s probably worth doing so.

USB Flash Drive Prices Rise on Back of AAA Rating Downgrade

USB Flash Drive Prices Rise on Back of AAA Rating Downgrade

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Leather adds a touch of class to any Promotional USB Flash Drives

Monday, August 20th, 2012

With so many different types and styles of promotional USB flash drives to choose from it can be intimidating trying to narrow the choice down to just one USB drive that reflects your brand or image.

If you’re after something that has a quality feel and will be something different from the general USB drives that are available in the high street or those that can be picked up from on-line retailers then you might want to consider a leather flash drive. After all, what’s the point of going to the trouble of arranging for your own drives if they end up looking like something you could have picked up in Staples or PC World!

USB2U have several options available and everything about them is top notch – the internal memory and controller chips are all branded and Grade A (and come with a 5 year warranty), the leather is top grade and the clasps and outer shells are made from highly polished stainless steel. The resulting leather flash drives look stunning and although there are a range of standard colours (black, brown and white) the leather can be supplied in pretty much any colour you want albeit there is a small additional charge for pantone matching.

Leather USB Flash Drives

Leather USB Flash Drives

To really top off the look you could your leather USB sticks supplied in some smart looking gift boxes or presentation tins. These come with custom cut foam inserts and the tins or boxes can optionally be printed or engraved.  Providing the boxes or tins are ordered with the USB sticks they don’t cost the earth and you end up with a really classy looking solution.

 

Pantone Matched Leather USB Drives

Pantone Matched Leather USB Drives

Promotional leather USB drives can be printed, embossed or engraved. Some people prefer engraving because anything engraved into the leather will last a lifetime but the finish cab be too subtle for some who opt instead for printing. Whilst printing is not as resilient as engraving the ink does impregnate the leather so it’s still going to be pretty robust.

Black and White Leather USB Flash Drives

Black and White Leather USB Flash Drives

Whichever leather model you choose and however you get your logo put on them you can be assured that you’re going to end up with a high quality product that will support any use you put them to.

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Should You Data Load Your Promotional USB Flash Drives

Friday, May 27th, 2011

USB flash drives do an excellent job of promoting a company’s brand, generating brand loyalty and brand recall but you can get much more “bang for your buck” if you pre-load them with data files.

The fundamental function of a USB flash drive is, after all, to store and transport data so it make sense when handing out any promotional USB flash drives to make sure your own data files are pre-loaded onto the USB sticks

USB Data Loading Service

USB Data Loading Service

The type of files you can load onto a USB flash drive can be anything you would normally save onto your PC so the obvious candidates are PowerPoint presentations, PDF’s, Word Documents, media files (video and audio clips) and links to your web site. Pretty much anything that informs prospective customers about your company, your products and the services you offer are ideal.

Pre-loading data files will mean you have to factor this step into your project plan. Data loading can be done during the manufacture of your USB sticks or just prior to delivery so you don’t have to have your finalised files ready when placing your order.

The best option (if you can get organised in time) is to supply the data you want loading so it can be added as your drives are manufactured. This way the data loading is typically free or it’s charged for at a negligible rate (charges depend on the size of the data files to be loaded).

If you want the data pre-loaded a little later in the order cycle, i.e. just before delivery, then be prepared to pay a little more for it because it’s a much more manual process and will typically involve more expensive UK labour.

Given the relatively small incremental cost for data loading you’d be daft not to do it because the more information you can put on the drive about your company, your products or your announcements the less you have to print and the less transportation costs you’ll have for any printed material. So, not only will you save a small fortune on printed material but you’ll make life easier for anyone you’re giving the USB flash drives to because they won’t have to carry around huge sales brochures, presentation files and notes.

If you take advantage of data loading offers it’s possible to build a cost benefit case that shows you can offset all of the costs of buying promotional USB flash drives by pre-loading them with data and reducing your print, storage and transport costs.

At USB2U we are seeing a significant increase in the number of customers now asking for data loading onto their USB flash drives. Fortunately we’re well geared up to handle these requests in our factory during production or at our secure offices/warehouse in Northampton where we have our own professional data loading machines which are capable of handling up to 2,000 USB flash drives an hour.

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