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Branded USB Sticks from USB2U are Gilt-Edged Promotional Products

Posted by USB2U on 6th August 2014 | Permalink

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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Branded USB Memory Sticks – It’s What We Do

Posted by USB2U on 2nd April 2014 | Permalink

If you’re looking for a supplier of branded USB memory sticks then please do add us to your short-list of possible suppliers. Branded USB memory sticks is what we do and we’ve been assembling, printing, engraving and data-loading them since we started the business back in 2002 (some 12 years ago!).

During this time we’ve supplied millions of USB sticks to tens of thousands of customers (large and small) and, the vast majority we’re delighted to say, stay with us and keep coming back for more. One of the most important aspects of any buyer/supplier relationship is “trust” and this is particularly true when you’re looking to buy a product that is customised to carry your brand and typically has to be delivered against an immovable “drop dead” date.

The point is that you need your USB supplier to deliver a good, high quality product that echoes all of the strengths and values that you have invested in your brand and importantly you you’re your supplier to delivery your USB sticks when you need them – no excuses.

We recognise of course that pricing is a major factor as well so the service and products we offer are priced to be amongst the most competitive you’ll find anywhere but importantly our prices are backed by a strong quality ethic, a determination to offer the service second to none and we also warrant our USB memory sticks for 10 years – so, if you have any problems with them (of any description) then we promise to replace them with new ones at our cost. This is not a hollow promise tossed out there by some company that is new to the market and feels they need to add this statement to compete with the more establish companies like USB2U- our promise is underpinned by our strong position in the market, our trading history and our financial stability.

For an indication of what our customers think of us take a look at the reviews we’ve received on TrustPilot – Trustpilot is an independent 3rd party review site that we’ve invited our customers to post to over the last 2 years. In this time we’re delighted that over 1,500 customers have taken time out of their busy schedules to review us and we’ve even more delighted that they’re rated our service as “Excellent” with an overall score of 9.7 out of 10!

So, if you’re looking for a trusted supplier of branded USB memory sticks give us a call – we’d love to hear from you.

USB2U - Trusted Supplier of Branded USB Memory Sticks

USB2U - Trusted Supplier of Branded USB Memory Sticks

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How To Care For Your Branded USB Memory Stick

Posted by USB2U on 12th March 2014 | Permalink

You have invested time in selecting, designing, sourcing and of course paying for your Branded USB memory sticks. Or you could be the lucky recipient of a free Branded USB drive. Either way there are a few golden rules to follow to ensure you have many years of happy ‘USBing’…..

Rule 1. When not in use do store the Branded USB away from extremes of temperatures, magnetic emissions from your mobile phone and of course water. All of these can potentially damage the sensitive components of the USB. Ideally consider bespoke USB packaging that the memory stick can be stored in. There is now a large selection available, which can also be branded.

Rule 2. Keep the metal connector that is inserted into the USB port covered so that dust and dirt will not accumulate inside. This can cause an ineffective connection so it seems the memory stick is not working. A sharp blow of air into the connector can sometimes dislodge this.

Rule 3. Ensure the computer is fully booted up and the home screen visible before inserted the Branded Flash drive.  If this is inserted before the computer is turned on or whilst it is booting it could cause an electrical ‘shock’ to the flash drive that could destroy some of the USB components.

Rule 4. Once you have finished using the Branded Memory stick, do not remove the flash drive immediately from the USB port.  The computer the stick is inserted into is constantly reading the flash drive and if removed like this on a regular basis it can damage the UBS components.

The correct process is to use a simple remove procedure before pulling it out of the USB port. On a windows platform, the easiest way to do this is to right click on the USB drive letter and selecting the ‘eject’ option.  This will then provide a pop up message stating it is now safe to remove the memory stick. It is a similar process for Macs.

Rule 5.  Whilst rare, static electricity can also damage Flash Memory sticks. For example, on dry days, a person can generate enough static electricity and if they discharge by touching a drive it could short circuit the internal components of the USB stick.

Rule 6. USB Flash drives must be inserted in one direction only. It cannot be forces into the port, otherwise this 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.

Whilst the humble USB is now ubiquitous and reasonably robust, it needs to be recognised that it is still a highly sophisticated and complex technological device which needs to be treated accordingly.   These simply rules should certainly help!

Capless Twister Style USB Memory Sticks

Capless Twister Style USB Memory Sticks

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Advice For Buying Branded USB Memory Sticks During Chinese New Year

Posted by USB2U on 20th December 2013 | Permalink

Our advice on buying branded USB memory sticks during Chinese New Year is simple – don’t do it. Not only should you avoid trying to buy them during Chinese New Year but if you can, you should also avoid buying them just before and just after these particular holidays.

Almost without exception all USB memory sticks are manufactured in China so when China closes for a national holiday all production stops. In 2014, Chinese New Year (also known as the Spring Festival) starts early – the actual day is 31st January but factories and offices will start to close from around the 21st January and many won’t re-open until the 10th February!

So, for nearly 3 weeks NO USB sticks will be manufactured. In the run-up to the holidays the factories come under intense pressure to push through all orders before they close and on their return things are equally as chaotic as they try and deal with a 3 week backlog. It’s not just the closure of the factories that cause problems – in the rush before the holidays the International Courier services out of China and Hong Kong (UPS, Fedex, DHL etc.) get swamped and it’s not unusual for shipments to get “bumped” off overloaded flights. In summary chaos ensues.

The other big impact this extended holiday has on USB sticks is to push up prices – it’s a classic “supply and demand” scenario with too many customers trying to buy limited stock. Price increases of 10% – 20% are not unusual and for certain styles the price increases can be even higher.

Perhaps the biggest issue for any business looking to buy promotional USB memory sticks in early 2014 is uncertainty – uncertainty on price, uncertainty on availability and uncertainty on whether any order will actually arrive when it’s needed!

At USB2U we’ve lived through Chinese New Year for the last 11 years and we still carry the scars but fortunately we’ve learnt some valuable lessons along the way. Now we plan ahead, we encourage customers to buy early where they can, we load up with UK stock, we embargo all staff holidays, we set up overtime rotas for our in-house design and print teams and we generally prepare ourselves for a huge spike in demand for our UK “rush service” (we know from past experience that other suppliers will over promise and underestimate the impact of the Spring Festival and we often end up picking up the pieces).

Our core advice remains the same this year as it has been in all previous years – order you USB sticks now – you’ll get better prices, you’ll get your sticks for when you need them and you’ll won’t have to worry or stress about whether they are going to turn up on time.

Buying USB Memory Sticks During Chinese New Year

Buying USB Memory Sticks During Chinese New Year

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Pimp Up Your Branded USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 19th December 2013 | Permalink

We love our range of branded USB memory sticks and we think they look just great on their own but we understand that some people like their promotional products to be a little bit flashier, to have a bit more “bling” and to really make an impact when they’re handed out. If you fall into this category then here are a couple of simple things you might want to consider when you order you next batch if USB sticks:

Attach an Engraved Dog Tag to your USB sticks – these cute little metal dog tags are the latest addition to our range of accessories. We can engrave them with any message, web address, phone number or simply engrave your logo on the dog tag as well as the USB sticks – combine them with a lanyard and/or keyring to make a really stand-out package.

Pimp Up Your USB Sticks With an Engraved Dog Tag

Pimp Up Your USB Sticks With an Engraved Dog Tag

Print the standard white gift boxes they come in – most of our USB sticks are supplied in a free plain white gift box but these can be pimped-up for relatively little extra cost. Again, anything can be printed on them (front and back) including your contact details, your website address and/or your logo. For a relatively small extra cost your USB package will look tons better. There’s no impact on lead times because the white boxes are held in stock in the UK and they can be printed in just a few hours.

Printed White Gift Boxes for Your USB Sticks

Printed White Gift Boxes for Your USB Sticks

Add a lanyard (a simple neck-strap) – we have tens of thousands of these in stock in the UK in a wide range of colours and they work really well with any of our USB flash drives – ideally choose a colour that works well with one of the colours in your logo or compliments the colour of the USB drive – don’t just choose a boring black lanyard because it’s an easy decision.

Upgrade to a top-end premium gift box – we have a wide range of gift boxes including several wooden boxes that look great engraved or printed, some top quality white premium gift boxes that look stunning printed and several different versions of tins. All of them come with custom cut foam to hold your USB sticks in place (our wooden slider boxes come with a fine coconut coir inlay).

UBS-Draw-String-Bags

UBS-Draw-String-Bags

Put them all in Velvet Drawstring Bag – for that final touch of luxury why not hand them out in one of our little velvet drawstring bags!

If any of these have sparked your interest just give us a call for prices and options – all of the accessories listed above are held in the UK and can be personalised and delivered (with your USB sticks) in as little as 24hrs.

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C-Type USB Connectors Will Result in Slimmed Down USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 17th December 2013 | Permalink

The introduction of the USB standards in the mid-1990s revolutionised how peripherals connected and interacted with computers. It also saw the dawn of a range of new products of which the flag ship was the USB Flash Drive.

Over the past 15 years there has been little change to the physical appearance of the USB port / connection.

However, all this is about to change. The Promoter Group which is currently made up of representatives from Intel, HP, Microsoft, Renesas Electronics, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments, announce the new C-type USB.

The primary change will be the reduced in size of the USB port itself which will slim down considerably. It also has the added benefit of the connector being reversible. It means users of USBs will no longer have to worry which way round the port is facing when plugging into a device. How many times have you been caught out!

The change has come from consumer demand for thinner and sleeker products and as a response to Apple’s proprietary lightning cable.

So what will be the benefits?

  • A smaller size – the connector will be about the same size as the micro-USB format used by many smartphones and tablets
  • There will be greater support for power charging; allowing up to 100 watts
  • Data speed transfers of up to 10 Gbps, twice as much as is currently available.

The specification is due to be completed by mid-2014, and the first product on the market by 2016.

So what does this mean for the USB Flash drive, well in short it will continue to be around for some time yet. The benefit of having a portable, lightweight, fast data delivery and storage device will continue to a key driver for users. There are many other reasons for the current and future popularity of Branded USB memory sticks:

  1. Branded USB Memory sticks are a unique way to get a brand in front of an existing or potential ‘key’ customers.
  2. Branded USB Memory sticks are a great way to disseminate information to key customers, staff, or city analysts.  The data can be passive, so the user would need to click on the files, or interactive for a more immersive experience.
  3. Branded USB Memory sticks are excellent ‘keep sakes’ and with a high probability that users will save their own information on them. Making the USB a valued tool that has a high intrinsic value.
  4. The cost of USB Flash Memory has fallen dramatically over the past few years, so they have become a far more cost effective promotional item.
  5. The speed of delivery is now as little as 24hrs, which includes a logo print – so ideal for emergency use.
  6. Security and encryption technology is now well advanced to protect any sensitive information stored on the Branded Memory sticks.

So whilst the USB will slim down, the benefits will still be as large as ever.

Current Branded USB Memory Sticks Will Get Smaller

Current Branded USB Memory Sticks Will Get Smaller

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Branded USB Gives Hope To Traditional Christmas Cards

Posted by USB2U on 11th December 2013 | Permalink

It will come as no surprise that the tradition of sending Christmas cards is in decline, with the total sent out this year expected to be down by over 140 million from five years ago.

One of the key factors cited for this decline is the average cost of a Christmas card which now stands at £1.50!
An important consequent of this decline is the loss of revenue for charities, who have historically found this a significant source of income.

It is unlikely that this decline will be arrested, unless the card itself moves into the 21st century. This is part covered with the growth of e-cards, but with so many emails being received, there is little perceived value and they are soon filed in the delete folder.

However, there is a technology that could breathe new life into the card market. It is the humble Branded USB Memory stick. For a little more that the price of a paper card, individuals, families and businesses can print a personalised message onto a USB memory stick, added photos, videos, letters, including links to social media site such as Facebook and so much more.

USB Memory Sticks - The New Christmas Card

USB Memory Sticks - The New Christmas Card

There are a range of memory sticks that could be used. The most popular are:

  • The Twister model which comes with a swivel action. The benefit of this model is that there is no cap to lose, it is robust and comes in a range of different colours. The metal clip can also be reprinted and replaced, so the opportunity to reuse for the following Christmas or other events.
  • USB Pen – as the name infers is it a combination USB and writing pen. These have a real wow factor, can be fully branded and a great keepsake. Ideal for children to take to school, college or university.
  • Finally, new wafer thin USB technology has allowed the development of a USB in the shape of a business card which is only 2mm thin. It can have a picture perfect image printed on to it and is light and cost effective to post.

It also has the added benefit of allowing the user to utilise the Branded USB Memory stick for their own use, during and after the festivities. A win for the sender, the recipient, and charities if they choose to offer these.

With the UK greetings card market worth over £1.5b pa the opportunity for the USB Card is certainly one to watch.

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Cheap Branded USB Memory Sticks – 7 Day Flash Offer

Posted by USB2U on 22nd October 2013 | Permalink

We’re days away from the end of our Financial Year at USB2U so we’re looking to end the year on a high. This is your opportunity to grab yourself a bargain because we’ve got some cracking offers to tempt you. We have thousands of USB memory sticks in stock ready to be printed or engraved and delivered within 5 days that have had their prices slashed.

So when we say “cheap” we’re not talking “cheap and nasty” – these are genuine offers and discounts on some of our top quality USB memory sticks. Not everything is included and the offers will either lapse at the end of October or when the stock has gone (whichever is the sooner). So, if you’re interested you need to move quickly because the stock will be sold on a “first come first served basis.”

Included in the offer are our stunning engraved metal USB sliders, our cute little triangle USB cards, some of our leather USB drives, our wooden USB twisters and our high performance USB Databars. All of these have had their prices slashed by up to 50% of their normal price and the discounts apply to all orders of 25 sticks or more. Email us for prices or fill in the quote request form on our website or better still pick up the phone and call us on our Freephone number and speak to one of our account managers.

Engraved Metal Slider USB Memory Sticks

Engraved Metal Slider USB Memory Sticks

If you want to see what any of these sticks will look like with your logo printed (or engraved) on them then just email us through your logo or artwork and our in-house design team will work up a range of mock-ups for you.

The lead-time on all of the branded USB memory sticks included in our end of year sale is just 5 days from proof approval. So order them on a Monday for and we’ll aim to get them to you by close of business on Friday.

Branded-USB-Data-Bar-Offer

Branded-USB-Data-Bar-Offer

If you need to pre-load data files onto the sticks then we can do this for you as well – it’s all part of the service.

Finally, don’t forget to take a look at our extensive range of packaging options – we’ve got some stunning gift boxes and presentation tins that we can print and/or engrave. These, like the USB sticks are held in stock in the UK and can be branded and delivered with your order.

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That’s A Pretty Dumb Thing to Say to Your Professional Photographer Customers

Posted by USB2U on 24th May 2013 | Permalink

If you run a global on line Photo storage and sharing service that has thousands and thousands of professional photographers as users (and many as fee paying users) then surely the last thing you want to do when announcing a major upgrade to the service is to alienate them.

Well, step forward Marissa Mayer Yahoo’s CEO whose company owns and runs Flickr – On Tuesday of this week Mayer said “There’s no such thing as Flickr Pro, because today, with cameras as pervasive as they are, there is no such thing, really, as a professional photographer.”

Understandably professional photographers and the various associations that represent them around the world have reacted with shock, dismay and disappointment.

The Professional Photographers of America (PPA) boasts 25,000 members in 54 countries and they are not happy:

“Mayer could not be more wrong, and her statement shows a lack of understanding that is difficult to comprehend from someone who is a supposed industry leader. “

“None of us would presume that purchasing a set of quality kitchen knives makes us a chef, or that owning a sports car makes us a race car driver. And purchasing a top-notch camera does not miraculously endow the owner with the knowledge and experience needed to create professional-quality images. In reality, acquiring such skills takes years, even a lifetime.” Read the full statement here.

Whilst Mayer has tried to downplay the furore her statement has caused by issuing a clarification on Twitter it’s not going to be enough for many photographers many of whom have been strong advocates of Flickr in the past.

At USB2U we’re a “Pro” user of Flickr simply because we don’t like or want adverts on the pages. We use to showcase our branded USB memory sticks and we use the service because historically it’s been a good vehicle for us to communicate what we’re about and what we can do to professional photographers – this might be up for review depending on what happens over the next few weeks!

If you prefer you can also view lots of images of our products on our USB2U Pinterest pages – in this day and age it makes sense to have a couple of alternatives in place!

Flickr USB Pages

Flickr USB Pages

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Chinese Public Holidays – Why it Matters When Buying USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 8th April 2013 | Permalink

The majority of Chinese workers live and work in cities, whilst many of their relatives remain in their ancestral towns / villages. With such a vast country, returning home can take many hours, if not days. This coupled with increased prosperity and disposable income has resulted in national holidays taking on greater importance.

The 4th April is the start of ‘Tomb Sweeping’ and is regarded as the most important custom in the Qingming Festival from which the name of Tomb-sweeping day is got. Cleaning the tomb and paying respect to the dead person with offerings are the two important parts of remembering the past relatives. Weeds around the tomb are cleared away and fresh soil is added to show care of the dead. The dead person’s favourite food and wine are taken to sacrifice to them, along with paper resembling money. This is all burned in the hope that the deceased are not lacking food and money.

So why would this impact on Branded USB Memory sticks? In short, the vast majority of Promotional USB Memory sticks are manufactured in the Far East, in particular China. This includes all the component manufacturers such as flash chip suppliers and the assembly / finishing factories.

On the run up to a major holiday, chip manufacturer start to slow and stop production. This in return results in a shortage of supply and increase in prices prior to and for a short period after the holiday.

The leadtime for delivery is also increased as factories and couriers will shut over the holiday period. This delay is compounded by backlogs that are built up at Chinese Customs, which can add several days to the delivery.

So what can you do to protect yourself? Firstly try to order ahead of major holidays (see list below) and if this is not possible look for a provider that holds UK stock of USB Memory Sticks, such as USB2U.

Chinese New Year has passed and the price of USB flash has rocketed. They are starting to stabilise now, but the pattern will continue, so be mindful if you are looking to order branded USB memory stick or frankly any Chinese manufactured products.

 

 

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