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How to get the most from your Promotional USB Memory Stick Budget

Posted by USB2U on 2nd April 2015 | Permalink

With sales of promotional USB memory sticks continuing to show no signs of slowing it’s obvious that companies large and small understand the benefits of using them as a give away. If you’re about to join in the fun and you’ve started looking for your own USB sticks with your company logo printed on them then you’ve probably got a reasonable idea of how much you want to spend on them.

In terms of making sure you get the “best bang for your buck” when sourcing them you can either pursue a strategy of getting the largest number of USB sticks your budget will buy or, you can embark on a plan to make sure that your giveaways make the greatest impact possible.

If you go for volume (and lots of companies do) then you’re probably just looking for something cheap and cheerful that you can hand out at a show or at strategic locations where your target customers can be found. A real example of this approach is Barratt Homes who handed out thousands of USB sticks at two Tube stations in London. The tube stations were adjacent to their new housing development and just “blanket bombed” the stations over a couple of days and targeted commuters – the USB sticks they handed out were printed with details of the housing development and they were pre-loaded with the sales brochures, floor plans and prices of the apartments they were trying to sell.

Cheap Printed USB Memory Sticks

Cheap Printed USB Memory Sticks

The primary objective in this scenario was to get the USB sticks into the hands of as many people as possible. So, they opted for the cheapest design (the Twister) with the smallest amount of memory needed to pre-load their documents onto. To keep the print costs down they only printed in 1 colour and finally they wanted the sticks delivered in “bulk” with no outer packaging – this not only reduced the manufacturing costs but the reduced weight and bulk reduced the overall shipping, storage and handling costs. They were not interested in the recipients keeping and using the USB sticks over and over again their principal objective was just to market their apartment and push their brand.

Whilst this approach was fine for Barratt Homes it’s not necessarily the right approach for everyone. If, for example, you’re trying to encourage journalists to write about a new product or the launch of a new service or you’re targeting executives at a conference or seminar then you’re best to use your budget to buy a smaller number of “top-end” USB sticks with lots of memory and bags of style or alternatively you might even want to commission your own fully bespoke (custom) USB sticks.

Top-end USB sticks include USB writing pens or USB stylus pens that also double up as a USB memory sticks – these products exude quality and get incredibly positive feedback but they’re too expensive to use a “give-aways” to random prospects. Custom USB sticks are, as the name suggests, designed and manufactured exclusively for one customer and are typically manufactured in the shape of one of their “hero” products.

Squeezing the most from your budget depends on what your underlying objectives are; if you want quantity then go with the budget ranges, choose smaller memory sizes, print just 1 colour on one side get your USB sticks supplied in Bulk (with no packaging). But, if you want to make an impact or you have high-end clients to build a relationship with then sacrifice numbers and go for quality or, in an ideal world, get your own Custom USB sticks commissioned.


Best Promotional Product for Trade Shows, Seminars and Conferences

Posted by USB2U on 8th May 2014 | Permalink

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!



Engraved USB Memory Sticks in just 24hrs – logo for a lifetime!

Posted by USB2U on 8th May 2012 | Permalink

The beauty of engraved USB memory sticks is that you can get them delivered in just 24hrs and when you take delivery of them you know the logo or design that has been engraved on them is going to last a lifetime. Unfortunately, the same cannot always be said of printed USB flash drives.

The problem with some USB memory sticks that are printed (and it tends to be metal or aluminum sticks that are the biggest culprits) is that the ink used to print them can scratch off pretty easily in daily use.

engraved USB flash drives

engraved USB flash drives

Popular metal USB sticks (like the twister or rotate) leave the factory with a protective “film” on them. The film is designed to provide some protection against scratching and to help keep the surface looking pristine. But, if you want to print on these metal sticks you first have to remove the protective film with a chemical wipe and then you need to prime the metal so help with the ink adhesion – if this is not done any logo printed onto the sticks will come off when scratched lightly with a finger nail.

Even when cleaned and primed the ink applied to the metal sticks “sits on the surface” of the metal and once the surface tension is broken (for example with keys on a keyring) then the ink will start to flake off. Plastic USB sticks don’t tend to suffer from the same fate because the ink “embeds” itself into the actual surface of the plastic.

If you are planning to give away metal style USB memory sticks with your logo on and you expect the sticks to take some punishment in daily usage then you might be better thinking about getting the sticks engraved. Whilst printed USB sticks do look stunning if you want your brand to survive as long as the USB lasts or is used then engraving might be a better option.

Engraving is no more expensive than printing and arguably on the right product can look more sophisticated. On metal surfaces that have an anodised colour finish applied to the surface, engraving simply etches away some of the anodised colour layer to leave a white finish (see the example images).

Engraving is also a suitable technique to brand wood, bamboo or leather USB flash drives – the finish is equally effective and durable.

If you’re not sure whether your logo would be best printed or engraved then speak to your supplier and ask for the advice and ideally get them to supply you with samples of your shortlisted drives printed and engraved. It’s fat better to make your decision(s) having seen the products in the flesh and having carried out your own “scratch tests”.

USB2U can supply printed or engraved USB flash drives in as little as 24hrs and will happily supply samples for prior to any order (the samples will be “dummy”” samples – in other words they won’t have any onboard memory but in all other respects they will be the same as the real thing!


Photographers Getting Burnt Buying Fake Flash Drives

Posted by USB2U on 6th July 2011 | Permalink

We’re getting more and more calls from professional photographers who have purchased USB memory sticks from other suppliers (and occasionally direct from China) only to find when they use then that they have problems with them.

The problems typically come to light when the photographers load photos onto them from one PC and then they try to view the photos they’ve loaded on a different PC or Mac. More worrying is that their clients have problems viewing the photographs when they try to view them from the flash drive.

These problems normally occur when the supplied USB flash drives have been “masked” – that is a “B” grade flash memory chip with say only 256MB of storage has been made to look like a 1GB USB flash drive.

When these 1GB USB flash drives are connected to a PC and you view the properties of the drive it will list it as a 1GB drive, even when you copy nearly 1GB of data to the drive it will look as though it has transferred OK – the problems only begin when you take the drive out of the PC the data has been copied from and try and use it on another PC – all of a sudden “Hey Presto” the data you thought you’d originally loaded onto the drive has gone!!!!

Photographer USB Flash Drives

Photographer USB Flash Drives

This problem cannot be fixed. If you have purchased USB flash drives for your business and they are acting in this way then you’ve been duped and you’ve been sold a flash drive with less memory on it that you paid for. Unfortunately this appears to be happening more and more in the promotional USB market because most companies and photographers that buy them and supply them to their clients won’t check or think to check. Understandably once they have finished transferring the data to the USB flash drives they’ll typically remove them thinking their data or photographs are on the sticks!

At USB2U we’re happy to try and help and rush out some alternative USB flash drives that are guaranteed to work but typically these issues are only discovered at the last minute and if replacements are needed within a day or two you may have to compromise on colours, designs and sometimes print.

The only safe way to be sure you don’t get stung is to:

  1. Buy from a reputable supplier, ideally a supplier that understands the USB flash drive industry and is able to demonstrate they’ve been around for a while and that they supply other customers in your sector (it doesn’t hurt to ask for references either)
  2. Don’t just buy on price alone – if you’re being offered an “incredible deal” on branded USB memory sticks and other suppliers are suggesting they can’t get close to the price then its usually an early indication that you’re heading for trouble.
  3. Make sure you have at least 12 months warranty on any flash drives you buy and that you understand the replacement process.
  4. Buy locally so you have some recourse in the event of any problems. It’s much easier dealing with a supplier in your own country if things turn nasty and you need to resort to the courts to resolve any issues (hopefully it won’t get this far)
  5. Finally, do your own checks when you take delivery of your USB flash drives – load data onto a random sample (up to the limit of the memory you’ve paid for) and then try and read the data from another PC.

Plaudits Continue to Flow In For USB2U

Posted by USB2U on 3rd November 2010 | Permalink

Looking for a good and trusted supplier of branded USB memory sticks? Perhaps you’re not sure how to choose a supplier for your project or maybe you’re just confused by the number of companies now claiming to offer USB sticks at the “best” price and with rapid delivery timeframes.

If you’ve never bought USB memory sticks (also called USB flash drives, thumb drive and pen drives) printed with your logo on before then its easy to understand why you might get a little daunted by the task. Not only are there lots of companies selling them but they all look the same so do you just use price as your only barometer when deciding where to place your business?

Branded USB Memory Sticks

Branded USB Memory Sticks

Choosing on price alone can be risky not least because whilst USB memory sticks can look the same on the outside it’s the internal components (the flash memory module and the controller chip) that are just as import as how the printed stick look. Some suppliers offer cheap headline prices but fail to disclose they are able to offer this price because they are using Grade “B” or re-cycled chips – these are prone to high failure rates. Some will even “mask” a 128MB memory module to make it look like a 1GB – this ploy is very hard to spot until you try and load data on the USB flash drive.

The safest option is to choose from a supplier that:

  • Has been around for a while, operates from a business address and not a “back bedroom” purporting to be a company.
  • Has a proven track record of delivery and can put you in touch with customers who are able to supply references
  • Can certify the products they supply use new and Grade A chips and memory modules.
  • Offers guarantees that are underpinned by their track record.
  • Can offer in-house data loading services

USB2U has been supplying branded USB memory sticks since 2002 and is recognised as one of the leading suppliers in the UK with many household names as clients. If you’re looking for a safe pair of hands for your branded USB order you can trust USB2U. Here’s what a few of their customers had to say about them:

Leapfrog – “Just to say that the USB’s came through this morning and they are fantastic. We are very pleased with the quality and service – we’ll certainly be ordering again in the future”

Hertfordshire School – “I can only praise USB2U for delivering our fantastic memory sticks 2 weeks ahead of schedule, whilst simultaneously undercutting their competitors on price”

Studio London – “Just a quick note to let you know that the USBs have arrived and look great!  It’s taken me a long time to find packaging for them that looked classy, and the black box does it for me.”

NRP – “They have arrived here and look stunning! Thanks so much – it has been a pleasure working with you”

WhirlpoolUSB’S went down really well at the event last night – they looked great

Panasonic – “We received them this morning. Thank you. I shared them out within the department, which made everyone happy. Quality was superb as always”


Cheap Branded Memory Sticks for Schools & Universities

Posted by USB2U on 8th June 2010 | Permalink

Perhaps we should qualify that statement and make it clear we’re not talking about cheap in any negative or derogatory way but rather cheap as in fantastically discounted offers that are only available to Schools & Universities in the UK.

Why are we offering such good deals? Well, put simply we want your business and we want to be able to demonstrate to

Branded Memory Sticks

Branded Memory Sticks

you (if you’re not a customer already) why you should be buying your branded memory sticks from USB2U. We also appreciate that school and local education authority budgets are coming under renewed pressure and we want to help you get the best bang for buck when buying your USB flash drives.

Rather than making you jump through hoops to get the best deal you can we’ll lay out very clearly and simply what we can offer you and at what price. There are no hidden extras, not nasty incidental costs that are tucked away in the small print and there is certainly no compromise on the quality of products. We only ever supply branded memory sticks with Grade A flash memory chips modules and we certainly never supply re-cycled or “re-graded” flash modules because whilst these are cheaper they have a high failure rate and are to be avoided.

As a school you will be guaranteed immediate trade terms for any order for branded memory sticks or custom flash drives and we offer this irrespective of your order value. All we need from you to get the ball rolling is a school Purchase Order or an email confirming your order from your school email account. That’s it. Simple isn’t it.

Here the full list of fantastic discounts and benefits we offer to schools:

  • Free design & mock-ups
  • Free samples
  • Free plain coloured lanyards or key ring attachments with every memory stick
  • Free data loading
  • Free delivery to any UK mainland address
  • Free small gift box (or we can supply in individual poly bags)
  • No quibble 30-day payment terms on all orders
  • Discounted pricing

Interested? Please give us a call or fill out our on-line enquiry form and one of our team will get in touch with you.