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Archive for the ‘Promotional USB’ Category

USB Lanyards & USB Name Badges – Ideal for Conferences & Seminars

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

If you’ve got a conference, seminar, press event or show coming up any time soon then one of the many challenges you’ll have to wrestle with is how you make sure that the attendees can be identified easily. Of course you’ll also be expected to supply them with copies of the speakers’ slides and notes together with any associated Press Releases and marketing material.

In today’s security conscious world the identification of people attending an event is of paramount importance. You need to know that the people attending have actually been invited, they are who they say they are and once identified to you as the organiser that other attendees can easily identify who they are, who they work for and ideally what position they hold. The obvious way of doing this is to go through a sign-in process and the attendees with a name badge – a version they either pin to themselves of a version they attach to a lanyard.

At larger events a common technique is to add a Barcode to the name badge so the badge holder can be “scanned” and identified at various points around the event (handy for controlling access to VIP areas or just for tracking who went where).

If you use a USB Name Badge or USB lanyard you can get all the benefits of a standard badge and lanyard but with the added benefit of supplier the badge holder with a digital copy of the speakers notes, slides etc.

USB Lanyards and USB Name Badges

USB Lanyards and USB Name Badges

A USB name badge can be pre-printed with the attendees’ details and can include a bar code or QR code. Or, to keep it simple you could continue to use the current style/type of name badges you use today but substitute the usual lanyard with a USB lanyard – these can be printed or embroidered with you logo and marketing message as usual.

Either way you get a brilliant way of distributing all of your marketing material to every attendee. No more printing of speakers’ notes and slides, no more building a secure website login to allow attendees to login and download them – just load them up onto the USB lanyard or USB name badge and you’re done. The “uploading” of the data can usually be done for you free of charge by the USB suppliers you just need to have your data ready before they are ready to deliver them to you.

An added benefit of using a USB flash drive solution is that they tend to be retained by the recipient so you get much more continued brand exposure than you ever would with a regular name badge or lanyard.

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USB Wedding Favours – Recent price drops make them an attractive idea

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

If you’re one of the thousands of happy couples that are going to tie the knot this year then amid all of the euphoria, stress and excitement that you’ll be going through there will no doubt be a million and one things for you to organise to make sure your happy day goes to plan.

The big things tend to be easy to remember (the church, the registry office, the rings, the dress, the venue and the flowers etc.) but it’s the little things that can get overlooked or they can just burn hours and hours trying to get them just right. Of course finding the suppliers for everything on your wish list is never easy!

If you’ve decided there’s enough budget left to provide Wedding Favours to your guests then there are literally hundreds and hundreds of ideas you could consider including the old favourites of chocolates, sweets , cup cakes and keyrings – most of these, if you include a nice little box to put them in are going to cost around £5 each. If you want them personalised then typically you’ll also need to add the cost of the artwork set-up and print costs which can add another £20 – £30.

Another option, and one that is gradually gaining in popularity, is a USB Flash Drive Wedding Favour.

USB Wedding Favours

USB Wedding Favours from USB2U

USB flash drives, and in particular engraved wooded USB flash drives have become really popular with professional wedding photographers who are now using them instead of DVD’s – the tend to buy them in “bundle” that include a printed or engraved box and the end results look stunning.

Having seen them some couples are now looking at buying these Flash Drive and Box bundles and using them as wedding favours. The boxes and sticks can be fully personalised and of course the one thing you can do with a memory stick favour that you can’t do with any other type of favour is to pre-load them with tons of digital files – so for example you could pre-load a little movie saying “thanks” to all your guests and load that on the flash drive. Or, you could put together a collection a montage of photos, music and videos that tell the story of who you are, how you met, how the relationship blossomed and finally images from the Hen and Stag do (if you dare!)

All of these files can be copied onto each USB drive by your supplier – typically at no extra costs.

Custom USB sticks for Wedding Photographers

Custom USB sticks for Wedding Photographers

With prices for USB flash drives falling you can expect to pick up a really nice engraved wooden USB memory stick for £3-£4. USB2U have some lovely packages on their photography site which are well worth a look at.

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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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It’s All In The Packaging

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

You could have the most aesthetically pleasing Promotional Memory stick, some highly interactive data, accessories galore, but all this good work can be diminished if it does not have appropriate packaging or no packaging at all.

One of the key things to consider when ordering Branded USB Memory sticks is how these are going to be handed to the end users and the impact and statement you want to make. The right packaging not only protects the USB memory stick, but it also shows them off in their best light, offers print space for additional branding, storage for the user and the opportunity to add other items within the packaging such as a leaflet or business card.

A montage of photographs of different USB Memory Sticks with branded packaging

Packaging for USB Memory Sticks - Availaible from USB2U

There is now a plethora of packaging options for you to consider that can be clustered into the following:

No / or Basic Packaging. If you already have packaging to insert the Branded Memory Stick into then they can be despatched with no packaging. However you should ensure they are either placed into individual bubble bags or in trays to avoid them scratching.

Small Cardboard Box. This entry level box protects the USB memory sticks and is very cost effective. Most suppliers will provide these free of charge. Looks great printed.

Boxes with Windows. These are ideal to show the Branded Memory Sticks off in their full glory as the branding can be positioned to appear in the window.

Tin Boxes. These give the Promotional Memory Drive greater gravitas and make ideal executive gift boxes.

Wooden Boxes. These are really in vogue and work particularly well with wooden memory sticks. Great option for the Photography Market.

High Gloss Boxes. Looking for something which allows for a large expanse of print and in full colour?  These would ideal.

Blister Pack. If the Branded Memory Sticks are for retail use then blister packaging may be the solution. It allows the memory sticks to be displayed and a printed card inserted.

Other things of note:

-        All boxes can be printed or engraved with a logo or marketing message.

-        Make sure the size of the packaging will allow for any accessories e.g. Branded lanyard.

-        If foam is used to hold the memory stick in place then ensure this is cut to the exact profile.

-        Ensure that you order your packaging with the memory sticks otherwise the cost will be higher.

-        Suppliers are now offering packaging in recycled material – worth asking.

 

If you have ever had the opportunity to open a brand new Apple product you will know the important role packaging plays in the perceived value of the product and quality of what’s inside. A useful rule of thumb for your Branded USB Memory sticks.

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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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What are Grade A USB Flash Drives and Should I Buy Them

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Promotional USB Flash Drives have been around for over 10 years now and the appetite for them shows no sign of abating. This year millions of them will be given-away in the UK alone prompting the obvious question of what are we doing with them all and isn’t the market saturated by now?

Their continued popularity seems to be fuelled by the fact that prices relative to the amount of memory inside the flash drive (and more memory equals greater usage options and increased desirability) have fallen dramatically and businesses are forever finding new and exciting uses for them.

Whilst lots are still just handed out at trade shows, conferences, seminars and press events today Professional Photographers have adopted them in preference to CD’s and DVD’s. Distributors are using them to send out large catalogues and price lists around Europe, 3D and 4D baby scan companies are increasing giving out (or selling scans) to parents on USB drives. House builders are handing them out in show homes pre-loaded with videos, price lists and interactive applications to help the buyer choose their new home – the ideas and opportunities for their use seem endless!

However, if you are about to start the process of sourcing promotional USB flash drives for your own project then be prepared to be slightly bamboozled by the amount of choice you’ll have and the sheer number of companies looking to sell you USB sticks. Your immediate challenge will be to try and get prices (very few companies quote them on their web sites because they prices are so fluid) and having got prices it’s then a question on trying to work out if you are comparing “apples to apples”.

Promotional USB Flash Drives from USB2U

Promotional USB Flash Drives from USB2U

Whilst USB flash drives can all look the same on the outside there can be huge differences on the inside and it’s what’s inside that to a large degree will determine the price, the quality and the performance of the USB stick (performance = read/write speeds, number of read write cycles the USB stick can perform). It’s also not uncommon for some unscrupulous suppliers to sell fakes – they’ll make a 128MB drive look like an 8GB drive and you’ll only find out when you try to load your files onto them and read the same files in another PC. In simple terms it’s a jungle out there so be careful!

One phrase you’ll see popping up all over the web sites of USB suppliers is “Grade A” – the inference being that they only supply the best quality product and that their product is somehow superior to others that don’t supply “Grade A” USB Flash drives. It’s a phrase and pseudo “standard” that was introduced a few years ago to try and help buyers differentiate the good from the bad BUT there is no regulation over its use, there is no independent authority that makes sure the “standard” actually means anything. Nothing is tested, no rigour is applied, anyone can and does use the phrase and it’s down to the buyer to challenge with the seller exactly what they mean by it and to understand how to check when they ultimately receive their USB sticks.

“Grade A” is now a largely hollow and vacuous marketing statement that means very little. It’s banded around by lots of companies and unfortunately clung onto buy buyers to reassure themselves that they are buying the best in the market. Sadly in many cases they are being duped – we know because we often end up picking up the pieces when things go wrong!

Our advice is to buy locally, buy from a supplier who has a hard fought for reputation in the market and who is not going to put it (and your relationship and brand) at risk by selling you rubbish.  Check out 3rd party review sites to see what other customers are saying, do basic checks like using Google Maps to check out the suppliers address (you’ll be surprised how many companies that look great on their web site operate from a residential house) and if you can run and Experian, Credit Safe or Equifax check on the company to check their financial stability – if things do go wrong and you need to claim against the long warranties on offer then you need to have some confidence that they are going to be around to honour them!

At USB2U we use “Grade A” as a statement in our marketing because the market dictates that we do but in our case it’s true – we are careful not only to specify the standard and grade of flash memory used in the manufacture of our USB sticks but we also specify the controller chips and the capacitors – all 3 components are critical in terms of performance and reliability and if you skimp on these then you undermine any intent to supply top quality promotional USB flash drives.

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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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USB Fan Enquires Coming In – Summer must be on the way

Friday, March 28th, 2014

From the depths of our office and warehouse we don’t need to be able to see out of the window (although that would be nice) to know that summer is on its way instead we can quite easily rely on the number of enquires coming in to USB2U for USB fans to gauge what the weather is doing (or about to do).

Maybe those making the enquiries have read the various reports in the press about Britain heading for our hottest summer yet. According to various publications weather experts are suggesting there is a 75% chance that over the next few months we’ll be bathed in Mediterranean-style temperatures! We’ve already had a couple of days this month where temperatures crept up to 20 degrees Celsius and whilst we’ve come back down to earth with a bump over the last few days expectations are that we’re in for a very long hot summer – bring it on!

USB Fans

Promotional USB Fans

Of course it’s not so great if you work in an office or study with little natural ventilation (you can’t open the windows in many offices) and you don’t have air-conditioning.  Your best bet in these circumstances is a fan and if you budget won’t run to the latest Dyson Bladeless Fans then you could go for a personal USB fan – these don’t need any batteries, they plug directly into any spare USB port on your PC (or Mac) and can be positioned to get the air flowing directly at you. The fans are 100% safe and they’re really quiet and unobtrusive.

If you’re a company looking for an “in your face” promotional gift for 2014 then you might want to get in early whilst we still have stock and order you USB fans now. We have thousands of them in stock in the UK but if you wait until the temperatures start rising then you might be disappointed as these fans have a habit of flying off the shelves every year when the mercury starts rising!

The fans can be branded with your logo (see the images below). The usual lead time from order is around 5-7 days but we can do turn them around a little quicker if you’re in a real hurry – just call us for prices and details of our rush service.

USB Fans from USB2U

USB Fans from USB2U

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Buying Cheap Promotional USB Flash Drives

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

It’s understandable in today’s economic climate to make sure when you’re buying promotional USB flash drives that you do your research and get the best possible price you can for the flash drives you buy. So cheap is best right? The answer is “not necessarily”.

The problem with just using cheap as the benchmark against which you make your buying decision is that it can mask all manner of other issues and the potential problems of buying “cheap” can include but are not limited to damage to your brand and reputation. Ironically often the exact opposite of what most companies are trying to do when they hand out promotional products.

USB2U for Promotional USB Flash Drives

USB2U for Promotional USB Flash Drives

If all promotional USB memory sticks were manufactured to the same specification and all suppliers took the same degree of care and responsibility in the supply of your order then a decision based on price would be reasonable. But, buying promotional USB flash drives is not, for example, like buying a Samsung TV of a particular model where you know exactly what you’re buying because every reseller is selling exactly the same product and you can read not only the reviews on the product but on the supplier as well!

Instead buying flash drives is a bit like entering a minefield – one wrong step and you could be looking at a very costly mistake.

Why is it so difficult? Well the fundamental problem is that although lots of USB sticks look exactly the same on the outside it’s what is on the inside that is important. Buy cheap and you’re likely to get something that looks pretty good but inside the shell will be cheap components (cheap flash memory, cheap controller chips and a cheap capacitor) that are likely to fail or will have very slow read/write speeds and might even be masked (this is an expression used to describe flash drives that have been “adapted” to make a 128MB chip look like a 4GB chip).

Over the 12 years or so we’ve been selling flash drives we’ve heard our fair share of horror stories and our advice is simple:

  1. Buy local because at least this way you can check out the supplier, you can read reviews on their service, you can spend a couple of £ and find out who’s behind the company and if things do go wrong then at least you have some recourse in law (in a jurisdiction you are familiar with).
  2. Get some assurance from your supplier on the type/quality of the components used inside their USB sticks (get this confirmed on the order as well as just the memory size).
  3. Read the terms and conditions of supply and ideally don’t part with any money until your USB sticks are ready to ship – if you have a good credit record then ask for payment terms. This way you’ll get your USB sticks before you have to pay for them and you can make sure they are exactly what you were expecting.
  4. Read the reviews sites and see what other customer are saying about the suppliers you’ve contacted.
  5. Check the length of any warranty and be clear about the process to invoke any claim under the warranty.

Yes the price is important but so is your brand so make sure you are buying from a supplier that you feel comfortable trusting your brand and your company’s reputation to.

 

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Data Loading on USB Flash Drives – An Evil Necessity

Friday, January 17th, 2014

One of the primary reasons that so many companies are using promotional USB flash drives is because they are looking for a simple, easy and convenient way to distribute lots of information to their customers (or prospective customers). Whether it’s information on new products, pricing, seminar or conference notes, video presentations or any mix of these then USB drives that are pre-loaded with the data are a great solution.

CD’s and DVD’s used to be the preferred option but so few laptops and desktop PC’s now ship with a CD/DVD player that it’s a risk relying on people being able to use these. Arguably with the shift toward tablets (most of which don’t have USB ports) the same issues apply to USB sticks but most people still have a PC or laptop at home or work and all of these will have a USB port.

The other benefit of handing out a USB drives with your data pre-loaded onto them is that flash drives have a high perceived value (much higher than a CD or DVD) and as such people like being given them and that in turns help them to build a bond with any brand printed onto the drive. If you hand out flash drives with spare capacity on (and this is typically always the case) then you’re giving something away that has on-going use after your data has been read. This in turn means your flash drives (with your brand printed on them) will get repeat usage and your brand will get repeat exposure.

USB Data Loading Services from USB2U

USB Data Loading Services from USB2U

The real headache is how you get the data onto the USB flash drives before you hand them out! Often files, video and presentation notes are not ready to load until right at the very last minute and if this means you have to load the data yourself then in could take hours and in some cases days! Transferring 1GB of data from your PC could take 10+ minutes per drive – multiply this by say 500 and you can see the challenge!

By far the best way is to get your promotional USB flash drive supplier to data-load them for you. Typically they will have industrial data loading machines that will bulk transfer the files to multiple drives (each machine usually has a “master slot” and can copy the data to up to 20 USB drives in the same time that you could copy one!).

Most suppliers offer this service free of charge for up to 200MB of data but the charges for larger data loads are only pennies – it’ll be the best money you ever spend. No one in their right minds would voluntarily opt to data load their own USB sticks one at a time on their PC.

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