Posted by USB2U on 19th June 2012 | Permalink
Companies that operate in a crowded market have to pay more than lip service to developing their brand and raising awareness of the brand and what it represents. Branding is not just about coming up with a nice, snazzy logo that your designer thinks is “cool” instead it’s about building up a set of positive associations between your customers (and potential customers). These associations can be at a company level, product level, they can reflect the service received (or given) and/or they can reflect the interaction with an individual or number of individuals within the company.
When any company embarks on a brand building strategy they are fundamentally looking to develop a programme that encapsulates the strengths and values of their business, to make clear why they are different from their competitors and why customers buy (and repeat buy) from them. Companies with a great brand will have worked hard to create a special relationship with their customers and often it’s a relationship that evokes strong emotional reactions – get it right and customers become strong advocates and ambassadors for the brand and will help drive sales forward.
A logo is often confused with a brand but a brand is more to do with the sum of many parts of which the logo is just one component albeit it is often the element that is most widely seen and remembered.
Branded USB Flash Drives
As part of a brand building initiative lots of businesses are now using USB flash drives with their logo printed or engraved onto them. The drives are either handed out at corporate events (seminars, conferences, trade shows or press events) or given away to customers as part of a promotional campaign. In most cases the USB drives are pre-loaded with lots of useful information about the company, its products and how to engage with them (website addresses, Twitter and Facebook details etc.).
Branded USB flash drives are a relatively inexpensive way to give customers, prospective customers, journalists and other influencers something that has a high perceived value, something that has the potential for repeat usage (recipients will usually use them to store and carry their own data on) and something that will help to engender a positive feeling towards the company gives them away.
The logo that is engraved or printed on the USB flash drive serves as a constant reminder of the company that handed out the USB stick and providing you don’t forget to take care of the underlying base principals of what a good brand is all about them they will support any brand building campaign.
Posted by USB2U on 13th September 2011 | Permalink
The uncertainty in the global financial markets continues to have a direct correlation to the price at which companies can buy printed and promotional USB flash drives in the UK.
Like many products these days USB flash drives are manufactured, assembled and printed in China but unlike most other products USB flash drives tend to be manufactured to order and need to be delivered within a matter of days. The majority of companies that order USB sticks buy them for time critical events so speed of delivery tends to be key.
Global Financial Markets Affect the Price of Branded USB Flash Drives
The typical lead time from placing an order for branded USB sticks to delivery is around 10 days which is staggering when you consider that during that time they have to travel over 5,000 miles and pass through the hands of multiple organisations who manage and co-ordinate their manufacture and their safe passage through customs and a maze of road and flight connections.
The downside with this demand and supply model is that local UK pricing is tightly linked to the US Dollar exchange rate. China trades with the rest of the world in US Dollars so the core components that go to make up a USB flash drive (flash memory, flash controller chips, and housing) are all traded in dollars. Few USB flash drive suppliers and factories hold stocks preferring instead to buy the components as the orders come in which exposes them to movements in the currency markets
Over the last couple of months the Pound (GBP) has fallen from around 1.65 to 1.575, which is a fall of just under 5%. The weakness in the Pound (GBP) ripples through to end-user pricing which has increased by 5% to compensate for the exchange rate falls.
Unfortunately the immediate outlook is not good. Today’s UK inflation figures showed another rise to 4.5%, Europe is still gripped with fear over the Greek debt situation and the rate Italy has to pay on new Bond Issues today increased to 5.6%. This continued “drip drip” of bad news from Europe combined with weak growth and high inflation in the UK means the market sentiment towards the Pound (GBP) is unlikely to change any time soon!
If you are looking to buy printed USB flash drives or place re-orders don’t be too surprised if the prices have moved up a little. No one is trying to profiteer it’s just a reflection of the volatile market conditions.
Posted by USB2U on 31st August 2011 | Permalink
At USB2U we are proud of our vast product range providing lots of choice and customisation for the best branded USB memory sticks in the market. That’s why we are introducing four new products to the products range. They are the Mini Twister, the Retractor, the Pebble and the Charm; all of these models bring colour and individuality to the product range.
To ensure that our range does not grow too big and complicate customers we have discontinued four of the least popular branded USB flash drive models to make way for the fresh new designs. We have included a small description of each of the memory stick’s personalities to get to know them a little better and how they can better fit your promotional USB needs.
New USB Models
The Metal Mini-Twister is just that, a smaller version of the Twister model. At only 33mm long and 16mm wide this new USB flash drive is certainly neat and compact but still comes in memory sizes from 1GB all the way up to a huge 32GB. The drive is capless and twists to reveal the USB connector with a snap function holding the drive open or closed. The Mini Twister is available in three metallic colours of Gold, Silver and Gunmetal and allows for engraving or printing.
The Retractor USB memory stick is small but vibrant and has a clear printing space for its size. The shell of the Retractor USB memory stick encases the USB connecter that pushes out with a slider on the back of the flash drive. The USB connecter locks in to protect itself and locks out to give a solid entry into a USB port. The Retractor USB memory stick is made from aluminium and comes in a range of colours; purple, black, blue, red and green.
Whilst being one of the smallest USB flash drives on the market, the Charm can house the same levels of memory as our other USB memory sticks – up to 16GB. The charm is compact, cute and stylish and can carry your logo / artwork on both sides, either printed or engraved. It is also available in three different metal finishes; gold, silver and gun metal grey. The Charm USB memory stick is ideal for attaching to mobile phones, MP3 players, lanyards and other devices.
Key Classic 3
If you’re looking for something a little different, a little bit classy, something that will fit easily onto a keyring and is incredibly portable and easy to use then the Classic USB Key could be just what you’re looking for. These USB keys are manufactured from polished stainless steel, available in three colours; silver, gold and gun metal they can also be engraved with your logo and fine levels of detail in the engraving can be achieved. Robust, good looking and available in memory sizes from 512MB to 16GB we think these USB keys will be a real winner.
Posted by USB2U on 24th August 2011 | Permalink
We have slowly been witnessing USB flash drives take the place of their less advanced predecessor, the CD. We have been finding that more and more photographers are sending newly wed photos on branded USB flash drives in place of CD’s and we recently reported in one of our articles Ford replacing CD players in their new Focus’ with a USB port as standard (CD Player Dropped from New Ford Focus – Replaced With USB Ports). We have now found quite a revolutionary new way that USB memory sticks are being used instead of CDs, DVDs and even Blu-Ray Discs.
The traditional film rental market is facing pretty gloomy times with the development of easier ways to rent films such as Love Film and online rental. However, Flix on Stix thinks that they may have found a gap in the market with an alternative way to rent films. The name of the company pretty much explains the idea, films are rented using a USB flash drive. Films are rented and transferred onto a USB memory stick via kiosks resembling ATM machines. The clever part of this idea is how the films are rented.
Flix on Stix Movie Rental
Flix on Stix distribute a company branded USB memory stick, known as a ‘passport’ to customers wanting to use the service. The flash drive is pre-loaded with proprietary anti-theft software to stop the transfer of the films once rented and the files will self-delete when the specified rental days have expired. The flash drives and ports are also USB 3.0 to ensure a speedy transfer rate of the chosen film.
Branded USB Flash Drive
The idea has some legs as it eradicates problems that traditional film rental stores had with late fees, scratched discs or limited copies of a particular film. Another benefit is that you do not have to leave the house to get and return the film, only to get the film. However, this venture is up against other popular film rental developments such as online movie rental through stores such as iTunes, Blockbusters and also the services on Sky and Virgin television.
Despite these issues it is clear that Flix on Stix is a revolutionary use for promotional USB memory sticks. The use of USB flash drives allows for more advanced technology that CDs or DVDs such as 3.0 transfer speeds, the pre-loaded anti-virus software, timed file deletion but most importantly company branding.
Having the promotional USB flash drives that would be used to transfer and play the films would get Flix on Stix much more brand exposure that traditional methods. When the person downloads the film they will use the flash drive, when they play the film in a room full or friends they will use the flash drive and when they talk about the service to friends they can show them the flash drive. The brand exposure for the company is much wider than with traditional DVD renting. Now only time will tell if the idea catches on and can stand up to the tough competition.
Posted by USB2U on 26th July 2011 | Permalink
USB memory sticks have come a long way since their humble beginnings. When they were first seen on the market it cost a substantial amount to buy a measly 64MB. The flash drives were pretty rare but most often seen around IT technician’s necks; it was even more rare to see the technicians using the USB stick. Fortunately USBs have moved on from the characterless plastic casing and have become much more mainstream, accessible and fashionable.
USB Flip Card Mark II
At USB2U we sell one of the widest ranges of USB flash drives on the market. Some memory sticks, like the Rodeo flash drive have an extra quality look to them, other flash drives like the bottle opener USB are made to be multi-functional and some flash drives like the Battery USB try to disguise themselves as other things. However, a few USBs are quite bulky and couldn’t be comfortably carried around all the time. The Credit Card USB product range is not only functional and has a great surface for printing but they also allow very for easy transportation. At 2mm thick the credit cards can comfortably slot into a wallet, which makes them easy to take with you wherever you go.
The Credit Card USB range come in four different styles, Flip Mark I, Flip Mark II, Rotate and the Slide Metal Card. The cards functionalities differ slightly however, they all have a large area that allows for complete customised printing. The Flip Mark I, Flip Mark II and Rotate cards can have print on the complete surface area of the front and back which is great for images and complicated logos. Despite the size the cards are availablefrom the smallest memory size of 512MB up to the largest size of 16GB.
The impact of the large printing area and embossing (on the Slide Metal Card) available on the flash drives make them a great promotional tool. The functionality of the USB Credit Cards means that they can be used in every day life without having to be worn with a lanyard around the neck. To find out more about the USB Credit Card Flash Drives see the product page.
Posted by USB2U on 20th October 2010 | Permalink
There are two schools of thought on whether you should put your printed USB flash drives in a gift box or not with the pro-box lobby being keen to ensure that the USB drives not only look the part but have a real impact when handed out. There’s no escaping the fact that branded USB flash drives look better boxed up, they look more like a “proper gift” and the when handed out the they create more of an impact.
USB Gift Boxes
Whilst most branded USB flash drives are supplied as a minimum in individual “poly” bags these are designed to protect them from bumps and scathes in transit rather than adding anything to the overall aesthetic. If you are simply going to remove the flash drives from these bags and incorporate them into your own presentation pack then any packing over and above the “poly” bags would be a waste.
But, if you are for example handing out the branded USB flash drives to delegates or speakers at a conference, or to prospective customers or high net worth clients then gift boxes or presentation tins really are a good idea. Gift boxes can also accommodate any lanyards, key rings or other marketing material that might be appropriate. Giving these items away in a single gift box simply looks better and is less clumsy than handing them out separately.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on USB gift boxes either. In some cases suppliers of branded USB sticks will offer a plain white gift box free of charge. Other options include plastic “snap” boxes with magnetic clasps and metal tins (with our without a cut-away window). If you really want to go the extra mile you can also get the boxes or tins printed to compliment your USB sticks and your advertising campaign or event.
USB Printed Gift Boxes
The anti-box lobby typically cite the waste associated with the supply of boxes and tins, which will, in most cases, just end up in the bin. It’s not just the waste of the boxes and tins but the additional air miles the additional energy that is used in manufacturing them and transporting them around the world – 99% of all gift boxes supplied to house branded USB flash drives are imported from China. So, if you have a company that is in any way involved in environmental or green issues or is sympathetic to them then it might be best to avoid what some might consider as “unnecessary packaging”.
If you would prefer to see your branded USB flash drives in a box then at USB2U we offer a wide choice ranging from free plain white gift boxes to custom blister packs and metal tins. Just give our team a call and chat through the options – we’ll even pay for the cost of the call.
Posted by USB2U on 15th January 2010 | Permalink
Chinese New Year is fast approaching and this year the factories that produce the branded USB flash drives will be closed from around the 7th February to the 21st February. During this period not only do the factories that manufacture the memory sticks close but much of the infrastructure including the local and national freight companies (TNT, DHL, UPS etc) all pretty much stop and nothing moves.
The consequence of this is that for 2 weeks nothing much gets manufactured and what little does get manufactured can get stuck in China waiting for the freight and courier companies to return to work. There also tends to be a knock on effect on lead times when factories return to work and start dealing with the backlog of orders. Usual lead times of 7-10 days can get stretched to 3-4 weeks. Coupled with this the increased demand after the Chinese New Year holiday has historically pushed up prices in the short term.
Some UK companies will hold blank stock of the most popular branded memory sticks in anticipation of this seasonal challenge but bear in mind that UK prices for both stock and in particular the overprinting (post manufacture) are much more expensive. So, if you have an event or activity coming in February for which you require branded or promotional USB memory sticks then plan ahead and get your order in early. This way not only are you assured of getting your memory sticks in time but you’ll most likely get them at a better price.
According to the Chinese Zodiac calendar 2010 is the year of the Tiger an animal synonymous with bravery and courage combined with power and grace. The Chinese New Year Holiday (also known as the Spring Festival) is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays and it’s a time when the focus turns away from work towards the family.
At USB2U we will, as always, carry some UK stock for our customers but there is always a high demand for this stock during the Chinese New Year so we strongly recommend that you plan ahead and place your order well in advance. This way we can supply exactly what you need without any compromise on colour or style of memory stick and we will deliver them at a better price.