USB2U News

Should You Pre-load Data on Promotional USB Sticks

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.

Promotional USB Flash Drives

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]

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Why do I need vector artwork for print?

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!

 

The print quality difference between a logo in jpeg format and a logo in EPS vector format

Spot the difference – jpeg or vector artwork?

USB2U show the difference between vector and jpeg artwork engraved on wood

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.

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Our Twisters Come In Any Combination of 2000!

Posted by USB2U on 10th February 2017 | Permalink

Our most popular branded USB memory stick is now available in any combination of 2000 colours and sizes!

That’s right, the Twister USB has always been a hit with our customers thanks to the amount of colours and memory sizes on offer, but we’ve added to that in a big way. You can now choose from any combination of 22 vibrant body colours and 15 stunning clip colours all from UK stock.

The clip is the piece that “twists” or “rotates” (hence this particular memory stick’s name) to protect the USB, and previously they were only available in black, white or silver – but with 12 extra clip shades now available, there really is no limit when it comes to style!

What’s more, there are ten memory sizes available ranging from 128Mb to 64Gb. So no matter how big or small your requirements are, we’ll definitely have something for you in the twister usb range.

If you’re not sure which combination will work best with your logo, our designers will prepare a range of options for you to consider and we don’t charge for this service.

Still not sure?  Just give our sales team a call and chat through your requirements and we can advise you on the best options for you.

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Plan ahead – Chinese New Year falls early in 2017!

Posted by USB2U on 12th December 2016 | Permalink

Chinese New Year is fast approaching so the time to plan your USB and Power Bank orders for January and February 2017 is now!

The celebrations for 2017 fall earlier than recent years have. This year the celebrations will take place (and factories & production closed) between 21st January – 8th February 2017. Therefore the cut-off date for standard orders placed is as early as 11th January to avoid delays.

Can’t order in time? Don’t fear! With our UK stock and in house printing facilities we are able to serve you seamlessly throughout this period.

We guarantee reliable delivery of USBs, Power Banks and other tech products – just get in touch with our friendly team here at USB2U.

We hold a large amount of UK stock!

Contact us on:

[email protected]

0800 008 7079

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

 

 

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On USB pricing instability

Posted by USB2U on 17th October 2016 | Permalink

NAND* flash prices have been creeping up since the factories in China returned from their Golden Week National Holidays, and unfortunately for us and our customers, they are still on the rise. Industry experts predict that NAND flash prices will continue to rise in Q4 of 2016 due to severe supply shortages. This has a direct impact on the cost of branded USB sticks.

Whilst we do everything in our power to serve our customers with steady products and services there is one thing that is completely out of our hands: the cost of USB flash memory. Whilst we don’t know exactly what is causing the supply and demand issue, we have a strong suspicion that the big players in the smartphone industry, Samsung and Apple, could have something to do with it in the lead up to Christmas.

The cost of flash memory has always been something that fluctuates which is why we only hold our quotes for USB memory sticks for 24-72 hours on average. However over the past few years, pricing had been fairly static with only a slight change from week to week. In contrast over the past week, pricing has been changing on a daily basis, sometimes 2-3 times a day, so we have reduced our quote validity period down to a strict 24 hours.

The weakening of the pound since the EU referendum is another factor influencing the market and pricing levels. Since the vote to leave the European Union was announced, pricing has become even more unsteady and certainly unpredictable. This is due to the impact the vote result has had on the value of the pound and subsequently the dollar exchange rate.

Sometimes the fast changing USB flash pricing can take our customers by surprise, and we fully appreciate this. We always work hard to allow the best possible pricing for our customers, and hope that the market will start showing some stability in the New Year.

 

* The digital memory component that is used in a range of tech goods including smartphones and USB memory sticks.

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Free Christmas USB Gift Boxes – Printed with your design

Posted by USB2U on 13th November 2015 | Permalink

If you’re planning to give away USB memory sticks or Power Banks this Christmas by way of a thank you to your staff, customers or suppliers then we’ve got a cracking offer for you that will make your gift really stand out.

Place an order with us by the close of business on the 11th December and you’ll qualify for free printed gift boxes. Not just any old gift boxes either but our slim white premium gift boxes printed with a festive design and message of your choosing. You can have whatever image and message you want printed on one side of the box (and for a small additional fee we’ll print on both sides of the box) – just email us your artwork and we’ll resize to fit the box. We’ll send you a digital proof to approve and when you’re happy we’ll print the boxes, pop your USB sticks or Power Banks into them and get them delivered to you in plenty of time to hand out at Christmas.

If you’d like to take advantage of the offer but don’t have the capability or time to develop your own Christmas artwork/design then don’t worry because our in-house design team are always happy to help. Just speak to your account manager and let them know the sort of thing you’d like and we’ll work up a few examples for you to choose from (all at no extra cost).

We ran this offer last year and the feedback we had was fantastic and we know that the simple thing of printing the gift boxes so they look like little Christmas Presents worked really well. Companies that took advantage of the offer got great feedback on their Social Media channels, lots of “likes” and they generated tons of good will. It’s often surprising how little things like printing a personal message or going the extra mile in terms of presentation can generate such positive comments.

As well as the gift box don’t forget that the Power Banks and the Promotional USB memory sticks can also be printed or engraved with your logo. If you give us enough time we can even personalise every gift with a unique message and name. Just send us a file (a spreadsheet will do) with the names of each recipient and the message/design you want printed on their USB stick or Power Bank and leave the rest to us.

USB2U’s little elves will be working overtime in the lead up to Christmas to make sure everyone gets their promotional gifts on time!

Free Printed Gift Boxes

Order by 11th December – Claim Free Printed Gift Boxes

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Create a Long lasting Impression with Laser Engraved Promotional USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 4th November 2015 | Permalink

Do you print or do you engrave your promotional USB memory sticks. Before you place any order please take time to at least ponder the question because the default option for most of our customers is to print them without giving a second thought to the engraving option. We try to stay agnostic over the “engrave versus print” debate and let our customers make the choice but there are times when we see a job and think you know what that’d look so much better engraved. Perhaps it’s out fault; perhaps we should be more forthright in our opinions and try to encourage our customers to consider engraving their design or logo. It’s never easy getting the balance right between gently coaxing and encouragement and just candidly saying you’re wrong.

Printed USB sticks do look absolutely fantastic; there’s a wide range of USB sticks that you can print on print on (compared to those that you can engrave on) and there is a growing range that allow you to pint on them in full colour with a print bleed right the edge of the flash drive. There is a “but” though and that is that over time the print will begin to chip, scuff and wear away leaving behind a logo or design that is barely legible. How long the print will last on a USB stick depends on what it’s made from and the printing process used to apply the design.

Engraved USB Memory Sticks

Engraved USB Memory Sticks

Printing onto metal USB sticks can be challenging because the metal surface needs to be cleaned and primed before any ink can be applied to them and then, ideally, they need to be baked in a commercial print oven to get the print to adhere properly. This obviously takes place before the USB sticks are assembled otherwise the memory and flash module would be “cooked” during the drying process.

No matter how meticulously you clean the metal, or how well your prime them before you print them they are particularly susceptible because when the edge of the printed logo is chipped the tension is compromised the rest of the print tends to flake away pretty quickly.

Digital printing or screen printing onto a plastic surface tends to offer a more robust solution but even these techniques won’t guarantee the print eventually failing.

By contrast laser engraving as the name suggests “etches” the surface leaving a high precision finish that is permanent and won’t rub or scratch off. It’s a popular technique on a wide range of promotional products (including USB flash drives) but it’s a technique that is also widely used in industry to permanently mark medical devices, instruments, buttons, tags, car parts, bar codes and lots ore besides.

With engraving you will have to compromise on the colour the logo is produced in (but you can select a range of different coloured USB flash drives) but at least you’ll know the logo will be produced to a high level of accuracy and more fundamentally that it will last the test of time.

In many cases engraving is not only a better and longer lasting solution but aesthetically it looks better which is why many wedding photographers are opting for engraved wooden USB memory sticks in preference to printed options. Our wooden versions are particularly attractive and incredibly tactile and when combined with our engraved gift boxes they make a killer package.

USB Flash Drives for Professional Photographers

USB Flash Drives for Professional Photographers

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Buzzzz – Wasps RFC include USB Stick in Members’ Welcome Pack for 2015/16

Posted by USB2U on 21st October 2015 | Permalink

Forget the Saracens there’s something special happening down the M6 at the Ricoh Stadium just outside of Coventry. New Stadium, a successful Secured Bond which raised £35m, a strong team, a growing support base in the midlands and the best looking New Members’ Welcome Pack bar none!

As a Northampton based supplier of Promotional USB Memory Sticks and staunch supporters of rivals Northampton Saints we’re gutted that Wasps have outgunned and out flanked the Saints with this brilliant membership pack – call us biased but we think the jewel in pack is the little black “Twister” USB stick that according to the Wasps website has been filled with tons of exciting content including; mobile phone and desktop screensavers and embedded links to video clips of the best tries of the 2014/15 season.

If we weren’t all die-hard Saints supporters we’d think very seriously about taking up one of their incredibly attractive (and cheap relative to the Saints) membership deals and not just to get a free USB stick! Some of us at USB2U live closer to Daventry and Rugby making the Ricoh Stadium arguably easier to get to than Franklins Gardens! – tempting…..

In the meantime we’ll just keep knocking on the door at Franklins Gardens and encouraging the marketing team to follow the lead of Wasps RFC.

Of course the perfect welcome pack as far as we’re concerned would be a pack that not only includes a branded USB stick but also includes a promotional power bank – these would be ideal to take to the game (or on those longer away trips) as a way of keeping you smart phone charged. After all as supporters we’re all encouraged these days to “Tweet from our seats” and to follow the team on Social Media. Not so easy to do if your phone is out of battery power hence why a power bank would be such a great members gift.

Get the power bank printed up in the clubs colours and include the URL’s or links to the various Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest pages and as a club you’ll have covered all the bases. They’re also a great option to sell in the Club Shop (either at the stadium or on-line) and they’ll make a welcome change from the usual mugs, caps, keyrings and mini rugby balls.

Wasps RFC USB Sticks

Wasps RFC New Member USB Sticks

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School DT Project Idea – Design & Build Your Own USB Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 9th September 2015 | Permalink

Could you be the next James Dyson or Richard Branson. Have you got an urge to design and build your own products or perhaps you’re happier dreaming up creative ways to market and sell your product ideas. Perhaps you hanker after trying out your ideas on sites like Kickstarter and trying to raise some financial backing – with the emergence of the Internet there are now loads of way to get your ideas supported.

At many schools in the UK you’ll be given the chance during your Design and Technology classes to come up with a new product idea – you’ll be challenged to design something, produce a prototype, think about the manufacturing challenges, think about your target customer(s), think about how you’ll brand it, market it, sell in and hopefully make money from it. Think of it as a Dragon’s Den for the classroom!

If you’re struggling for ideas (and lots of people do) then you might want to think of designing and building your own custom USB memory sticks? It’s easier than you might think, it’s great fun and there are lots of different creative ways to use these familiar products. USB sticks are commonly used as promotional give-aways but they are also used to load baby 3D and 4D scans onto, to load MRI scans on, to record track day data on at places like Silverstone, to market new housing developments – the list goes on and one!

A very simple idea is to just design a USB stick to be sold at your school but rather than just buying standard factory designed USB flash drives and printing your school crest or logo one why not get the sticks made in a design unique to the school. Anything is possible and some great results can be achieved relatively easily because if you can get your hands on the core components its really just an assembly job.

Inside most USB Memory Sticks are three core components; a memory module, a controller chip and a capacitor – these are typically pre-assembled onto a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) and connected to a USB interface. The PCB can then be embedded into any outer casing to create a unique USB flash drive. Just like any commercially available (and assembled) USB flash drive you can buy the PCB’s in a range of memory capacities starting at 128MB all the way up to 32GB.

If you fancy having a go at building your own USB sticks (perhaps as part of a school project) then we can supply you with all the components you need including any accessories your might want for your finished product including key ring attachments, lanyards and gift-boxes.

We have a minimum order of 50 pieces for the PCB USB’s so if you did want to get a project off the ground and you’re not a school or company then get your entrepreneurial hat on and start raising the capital you need.

Build Your Own USB Stick

Build Your Own USB Stick

 

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Crystal USB Memory Sticks – Wow these are Amazing

Posted by USB2U on 14th August 2015 | Permalink

Over the 13 years that we’ve been selling promotional USB Memory Sticks we’ve seen some absolutely great examples of them but after a while you tend to become a little blasé about new models being brought to the market.

When you’ve handled tens of thousands of customer orders and supplied millions of promotional USB sticks it’s difficult to get excited but, every now and then, something really special grabs our attention and gives us goose bumps!

The product in question is the Crystal USB stick but not the standard version. No, our skilled and creative design and print team have taken this core product and blended it with our in-house design and printing capabilities to produce a truly stunning promotional USB memory stick – check out the image below!

Crystal USB Memory Sticks - Amazing

Crystal USB Memory Sticks – Amazing

What you’re seeing is a basic (clear) Crystal model that has been given a full colour print but the print has been applied in a way that retains some of the translucence of the original. When you use the technique to mimic something like a full bottle of perfume the results are stunning. Trust us, in the flesh the Channel perfume bottle looks like it really is a bottle of perfume and it’s the same with the JOOP example.

Now we appreciate not everyone’s product, logo or artwork is going to work with this particular product but if you do have something you want to promote and you’re product lends itself to this kind of promotional treatment then we would encourage you to let us have a go at producing some mock-ups and samples for you. We don’t charge for this service and there is no commitment to buy from us – we just want to be given the opportunity to show what we can do/produce.

If it sounds like we’re excited about the potential of this Crystal USB stick in the hands of our print team it’s because we’ve never before had such a positive reaction across the company to the launch of a new product. We have lots of samples in stock so if you need to see one “in the flesh” to be convinced then just give us a call or drop an email to one of our friendly and knowledgeable sale team.

Don’t worry about the cost either. Despite how brilliant they look they are only pennies more than our “Classic” range of USB sticks.

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