Posted by USB2U on 11th July 2017 | Permalink
USB sticks are a well established product used predominantly for the storing and transferring of data between devices. As such they have become the staple product for many when it comes to convenience as well as speed, while essentially being a universally recognised plug & play device. With that being said, those using USB’s or Memory Sticks need to remember that such devices are still electronic and therefore aren’t going to be 100% foolproof. Failures can occur within products such as this from time to time, especially when it comes to the internal workings of the flash memory. For businesses who exchange USB’s with customers/clients on a regular basis it becomes even more important to pass on relevant information to ensure that each individual is aware of best practices.
How to take care of your USB Stick
Below are a few suggestions as to how one could look after their USB Stick
- Keep it cool – Like any electronic device, USB’s do not fair well in extreme temperatures therefore make sure it is stored somewhere cool such as in a container or drawer and preferably not in a back pocket.
- Keep the metal connector covered to avoid accumulation of dust or dirt – The exposed connector can become unreadable by a PC or Mac if objects get lodged inside the device.
- Ensure computer is fully booted before inserting a USB into the port – inserting before can shock the flash drive and damage the internal components.
- ‘Eject’ the USB stick before removing it from the USB port – A normal PC or Mac will constantly read a flash drive therefore if removed on a regular basis without first ejecting the drive can cause lasting damage.
- Look at which way the USB should be inserted into the port – All USB sticks connect one way only, forcing it in could damage both the USB memory stick and / or USB port. New standards are being considered to allow the USB to be inserted in any direction, but this is several years away.
- Do not leave in a computer indefinitely – Power surges can occur which may lead to components being damaged
- Avoid running programs from the flash drive – While each flash drive is designed to last years, each comes with a predetermined number of read and write cycles, and once exhausted the device can no longer be used. When you save and retrieve documents, you use single cycles per retrieval or write function, but running software applications from the flash drive will use multiple read/write cycles, therefore exhausting the USB stick a lot faster.
- Back up everything! – The USB flash drive, while an impressive piece of tech does not last forever even with good maintenance therefore it is important that people make back ups regularly of content on such devices. Getting in the habit now will save plenty of heartache down the line. Businesses who load data onto flash drives for individual clients should also keep backups of any work produced for them.
*A Special Note for Photographers*
As a lot of photographers use Mac’s rather than PC’s from day to day it is important that they are made aware of trash/ghost files that can appear on a USB Stick. As both operating systems work in different ways, both tend to interact differently with a USB stick when it is plugged in. Mac’s will automatically add ghost files/folders to the flash drive which remain hidden when plugged in, however appear as files like .Trashes, ._. Trashes and .fsevents on a normal PC. These are essentially nothing to worry about however good practice may be to delete these before sending out USB’s to customers who may own PC’s.
Posted by USB2U on 16th June 2017 | Permalink
Sleek and stylish are just a couple of words used to describe our new and fancy looking Luxury USB Boxes. Perfect for a variety of different occasions, the bright look of these boxes are a perfect addition to any photographers offering. As well, the quality feel gives all of our boxes an element of class which any potential customer would love to have and cherish for years to come. Take a further look at each variant below.
Luxury USB Box
The eye catching Luxury USB Box is the perfect companion for your chosen USB stick. Available in black, ivory or duck egg blue, these boxes come with a professional finish and a complimentary gift bag when ordered in a bundle allowing for plenty of personal touches to be added by each photographer.
Each box, as well, comes with a foam insert bespoke for different USB sticks including the Crystal USB, Rodeo USB, Woodland USB and Heart USB.
Luxury Keepsake Box
Our stunning Luxury Keepsake Boxes have been expertly finished with plenty of space inside to house much larger prints allowing photographers to truly customize their offering. As well, the overall size means more surface area to print photography logos or messages onto. The box itself fastens with a magnetic clasp for a truly professional feel which is sure to impress.
Luxury Prints Box
For those who want to present a bundle showcasing both imagery and room for a USB the Luxury Prints Box offers quite possibly the best of both worlds. With an elegantly sleek finish, and foam insert to house your USB. The purpose of the box is to show off prints that are 6×4 while still giving plenty of space on top to make logos/messaging stand out! It’s also possible to have this item packaged in a gift bag for that additional finishing touch.
For more information and pricing on any of these products please contact our sales team at [email protected]
Posted by USB2U on 20th April 2017 | Permalink
With summer right around the corner we thought we’d put together our top three summer promotional items that your customers will love!
Stay Cool With the Rainbow USB Fan
Temperatures are starting to rise and we’ve got you covered! Keep your customer’s cool this summer with the Rainbow USB fan. Our exclusive desk fans are powerful as well as silent, and have loads of great features. Each fan comes with a two-speed setting, tilting action, metal blades, and they’re made from a sturdy high quality metal.
There’s also an integrated USB port, so you can easily plug in a USB stick or power bank without losing any ports from your PC or Mac.
Available in either black or white, each fan also has rubber feet to keep them secure on your desk, and our Rainbow Range is completely exclusive to USB2U!
Keep Active This Sumer With Our Activity Tracker
activity tracker makes a great gift for your customers as it tracks steps, distance travelled and stairs climbed. It even calculates the number of calories burned in a day!
The stylish piece of kit comes with a free phone app to view your activity, and packs in some other useful features like sleep tracking and an alarm clock.
Create A Summer Soundtrack
Customers will love these tiny speakers. They may look small, but they’re big on performance! At only 4cm and weighing in at 47.5g, they’re the perfect size to fit in any pocket and a full charge will pay your favourite summer music for a whole four hours.
Compatible with all Bluetooth enabled devices up to an impressive 10 meter range, the mini speaker also has a remote camera control making it great for capturing selfies too!
Posted by USB2U on 7th April 2017 | Permalink
In previous posts we’ve looked at ways to help grow your Instagram following and listed the best hashtags to use for maximum engagement, so we thought it was about time we branched out to social media channels as a whole, as they’re all great for Photographers in their own way.
So if you’re utilising Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest and Instagram, these 3 quick and easy tips will improve your social media presence and in turn will increase engagement on your pages!
1. Make Your Images & Profile Name Consistent on all channels
If you have accounts across a number of Social Media channels, then it’s best to keep the same name (or handle) throughout. Using your business or company name consistently across all social media is not only great for brand recognition, it’ll make sure your customers and potential clients remember you! If someone else has already got in their first and your name has been taken, try and keep things as similar as possible for brand awareness and definitely make sure your profile image is the same across all mediums.
2. Update your cover photo
As a photographer, your cover photo is one of the best places to showcase your work on your Twitter and Facebook profiles, they’re also the first thing people see when they visit your page so it’s best to make a good impression!Using an irrelevant or even worse, no cover photo is such a wasted opportunity so getting the best picture and the right size is key. What is the best size? The recommended dimensions for Twitter are 1500x500px, and for Facebook the perfect cover photo would be 830x315px, so get snapping!
3. Keep Your Bio relevant
Much like your cover photo, your bio is one of the first places potential new clients will head to in order to find out more information about you, so make sure it contains everything you need them to know! You’d be surprised at how many photographers have information in their bio that isn’t relevant to their customers. So try adding things such as your speciality, your location, your contact details, and if you can – a link to your website.
Twitter and Instagram both have quite a limited character count for your bio, at 160 and 150 characters, so you really need to make sure you pack in a punch quickly! Try and get in all the relevant information, but also inject a bit of personality in there!
On Facebook pages, it gives you the options for both a short and long description – make sure you’re using them both!
Posted by USB2U on 29th March 2017 | Permalink
It’s totally understandable that when buying promotional USB Sticks, the most research is done around price and getting the most bang for your buck, after all, everyone wants a good deal right?
The problem with focussing only on price and buying cheap USB sticks is that the majority of the time, quality is compromised and you could end up in a bit of a muddle with non-working USB sticks, unhappy clients, and corrupted files.
We’ve rounded up the most common problems with cheap USB sticks:
• They can be slow – most cheaper sticks only have read/write speeds of 2-3MB, so if you’re loading the data files onto the USB sticks yourself you might be in it for the long haul! Slow speeds also means your customer’s aren’t likely to use them over and over again, so any potential brand advocates are lost.
• They’re made from cheap components – These are recycled or Grade B components which will have a high failure rate. Sometimes PCs and Macs won’t even recognise them! Or even worse, the data you’ve spent ages loading onto each stick could get corrupted…
• They may have a low grade flash – We got quite technical in this blog post and explained the differences in flash grades, all are described as “Grade A” but they can be very different, with one having a higher failure rate and a shorter life span.
• The warranty is compromised – Some suppliers are interested in quick, cheap business and don’t like to stick around when things go wrong.
• They’re bad for your brand – Printed or personalised USB sticks are mini ambassadors for your business, so if they don’t work or load incredibly slowly, it can look bad for your brand and reputation.
What to Look Out For
Fear not though, as we have some tips to look out for when buying branded USB sticks [link] that’ll keep the chances of a failed USB to a minimum.
• Ask lots of questions – Ask your account manager about the quality of the components inside your USBs, they should be able to confirm this on your order too.
• Read the terms and conditions – Again, your account manager will supply you with the terms and conditions of your purchase. Make sure you read these carefully as it’ll cover any warranty included.
• Read Review Sites – These are great for finding out more about who you’re about to do business with. We’d recommend Trust Pilot as a first port of call.
Posted by USB2U on 22nd March 2017 | Permalink
Well it’s certainly been a busy few days but we’re back from the UK Photography Show and we’re still buzzing from the excitement! Team USB2U were exhibiting from Saturday 18th until Tuesday 21st at the NEC’s annual show, and as always we had a blast! It was great meeting everyone, we spotted some familiar faces amongst the crowds and managed to chat to a tonne of new ones too, and we received some great feedback on our fantastic range of Photography bundles.
We’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who stopped by at stand H102 to say hi, we’re already looking forward to seeing everyone next year! If you didn’t manage to make it to Birmingham at the weekend, you can still browse our fantastic range of photography USBs here, or why not check out our gorgeous professional photographer packaging?
If you entered our competition on the day, we’ve announced all the winners over on our facebook page where there are loads more photos from the show, don’t forget to like us for regular updates, competitions & giveaways!
Posted by USB2U on 16th March 2017 | Permalink
As a photographer, having an Instagram account and updating it regularly is pretty important. We touched on some ways to grow your Instagram following last month, but this month we’re focussing on the world of hashtags and how you can use them to boost your following, increase engagement, and get your photos in front of the right audience.
With 600 million active Instagram users per month it’s easy to get lost in a sea of beautifully filtered snaps. Without Hashtags, your photos are only going to be seen by your current followers, and even then, you might be buried so low in their feed that they don’t even manage to scroll to them.
Instagram changed their algorithm a while back, it now shows your feed in the order it thinks you want to see it, rather than being chronological. But Hashtags are still shown in chronological order, making them the ideal way to get your photos noticed. In a nutshell, hashtags are a way to tag your photo to make it appear in a pocket of other photos that have used the same tag, so it’s easy for other users to find images of a similar interest.
For example, if you’re a wedding photographer based in the UK and you’ve taken a snap of our gorgeous photography packaging, you can tag your photos with #ukwedding – by clicking that hashtag you’ll then be able to see all the other photos in the same group.
You’re allowed up to 30 hashtags per photo, so we thought we’d group together some of the best and most popular hashtags for you to try on your next post!
Best Wedding Hashtags
#wedding #weddings #weddingphotographer #weddingphotography #weddingplans #weddingplanning #weddinginspiration #ukwedding #weddingidea #weddingideas #weddingphoto #weddingday #weddingfun #justmarried
Best Travel Hashtags
#travel #travelling #travelgram #travelphotography #travelblogger #travelersnotebook #travels #travelpic #travelics #travelbug #travelmore #holiday #travelblog #travellife #traveldiary #travelphoto #travelstagram
Best Pet Hashtags
#pets #petsofinstagram #petsagram #petstagram #petsofinsta #catsofinstagram #catstagram #catslover #catsagram #catsanddogs #cats #cat #dogs #dog #dogsofinstagram #dogsofinsta #dogstagram #dogsandpals #dogslover #dogselfie
Best Food Hashtags
#food #foodie #foodstyle #foodnetwork #foodprep #foodblogger #foodbloggers #foodstagram #foodbeast #foodandwine #foodforlife #foodinspo #foodstyling #foodshare #foodphoto #foodpassion #eatclean #instafeast #whatiate
Best Home Hashtags
#home #homedecor #homesweethome #homegoods #homestyling #homestyle #homeinspiration #homeinspo #homeliving #homeidea #homeideas #interior #interiordesign #interiors #interiordetails #interiorstyling #interior4all
Posted by USB2U on 6th October 2011 | Permalink
With a constant need to keep up with competitors, reacting to the ever changing digital world, patterns and trends in industries and the rise and fall of the economy, it’s important to keep one step ahead, and get your businesses’ messages out there efficiently and effectively.
The Rise Of The Promotional USB Stick
Demand for “old fashioned” CD’s has reduced dramatically over the years, and an increase in printing costs for traditional sales brochures has encouraged companies to look at alternative options to distribute information on their products, prices and services. By nature, consumers are also a lot more visual, and react well to videos and animations that is something that traditional printed materials of course, can’t offer.
Customised USB sticks are increasingly the solution companies opt for because:
1. Printed and customised USB memory sticks are now available for less than £2 per unit (subject to minimum quantities and type)
2. You get on-going brand exposure with USB sticks because they tend to be used by the recipient to store and carry their own personal data (after all this is what they are designed for!)
3. Postage costs to send out a DM campaign with USB sticks are significantly cheaper than sending out expensive and heavy glossy brochures.
4. The cost of printing on a USB is generally less expensive that the cost of printing brochures.
5. It’s far easier to take a few hundred or even thousand USB sticks to a trade show than it is to transport the equivalent number of heavy brochures or leaflets
6. Lots of brochures handed out at trade shows and exhibitions end up in the bins outside the exhibition halls – USB sticks don’t as they’re small enough to be carried around!
7. Pre-loading your sales catalogues, price lists, press releases, media files etc. onto any USB stick you hand out is a must – After all you’re paying for the storage space on the sticks so you might as well use it.
USB Pre-loaded Data Is A Vital Commodity
Pre-loading data onto a memory stick purchased for your company makes good commercial sense. The savings made by pre-loading data onto USB sticks rather than printing the equivalent documents can fully offset the cost of the sticks. Plus, as mentioned, with the right memory available, short videos and animation can be loaded- something that consumers react well to.
The process of data loading is sometimes called duplication, pre-loading, copying or replication. It is relatively easy to do but it can be time consuming and you need to plan ahead to allow enough time to get the data organised. Ideally a USB stick supplier would do the data-load for you – most will offer a free data load up to a certain amount, typically 100MB.
Locking Data Onto USB Sticks
If you prefer you can “lock” the data that you pre-load onto the USB flash drive. This means that it cannot be deleted, bear in mind if you want to do this you would generally have to have your data ready early as it has to be loaded and “locked” during the manufacturing process. You also need to consider that if you load too much data onto the stick and therefore not leaving enough room for the user then they are highly unlikely to use it and your brand won’t get the on-going use and exposure you have paid for.
At USB2U we have in-house professional data-duplication equipment that enables us to pre-load data on behalf of our clients. For more information about pre-loading data onto memory sticks, feel free to email us at [email protected]
Posted by USB2U on 1st March 2017 | Permalink
If you work in a creative industry like us and are dealing with logos and brands on a daily basis, you will be familiar with AI and EPS file formats for logos. But why do we ask for these files when it comes to printing onto our range of USBs as well as their packaging?
A Vector file type is either .eps, .ai, .pdf and .swf, and you’d need to set up your artwork as a vector graphic to start with before saving them in these formats – you couldn’t, for example, open a JPEG and re save it as a .swf.
So why don’t we use JPEGs? JPEGs are typically low resolution files and they’re mainly used for websites because the smaller file size helps load the pages quickly. They might look ok to the eye but once you zoom in or try to print from them you’re likely to end up with poor, blurred results.
Take a look at the images below and it’s easy to see why Vector artwork is preferred over a JPEG, the images are much sharper, crisper, and look loads better printed onto USBs!
Spot the difference – jpeg or vector artwork?
Crisp or fuzzy logo? We know which we prefer…
If you’re still a bit unsure then you can always ask your design team to supply you with vector artwork, or you could take a look at our artwork guidelines for a detailed overview of Vector and Raster graphics.
Posted by USB2U on 27th February 2017 | Permalink
According to a study conducted by the British Promotional Merchandise Association back in 2012, the most popular promotional items amongst all customers are the handy USB drive and the traditional yet extremely useful pen.
We can see why. If we asked you the last time you actually purchased a pack of pens could you remember? Neither can we, our drawers are filled with freebies from various companies and events! Despite technology advancing, promotional pens have stood the test of time because we all need to use one near enough every day.
So with promotional USB drives now just as popular, we’ve incorporated the two with the super practical and innovative USB pen. They’re a great gift to add to goodie bags or to give out at conferences as they combine the two most popular items!
Not only that, you can pre-load data onto our stylish USB pens free of charge, which means as soon as your attendees or customers get home, they can plug the USB drive straight into their PC or Mac and be given brochures, presentations, or information on your company
We have a great range of USB pens on offer, from the classic corporate USB pen to the more premium executive USB Stylus, there’s something to suit all needs – we even have pens with a laser pointer incorporated into them!
Another great thing about the USB pen is that you can have your logo either printed or engraved onto them, and for that extra professional feel we can also supply you with tin boxes that can be branded too.
So if you’re looking to amalgamate the two most popular products into something great, why not contact us for a quote? We hold UK stock so can supply the USB pens straight to you (with data-loaded) in as little as 24 hours!