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Come and See us at The Photography Show at the NEC 1-4 March

Posted by USB2U on 30th January 2014 | Permalink

If you’re as a passionate about photography as we are about promotional USB memory sticks then you need to get yourself tickets to attend The Photography Show. It’s a brand new event and it’s open to anyone with an interest in photography. It’s taking place from 1-4 March 2014 at the NEX Birmingham.

For all details of opening times, how to get tickets and all the latest news on the show be sure to go to The Photography Show website and make sure you also sign up to their Twitter account for the very latest news.

USB2U at The Photography Show

USB2U at The Photography Show

We’ve had some much interest in our branded USB memory sticks and gift boxes that we’re going to be exhibiting at the show – we’re on Stand L1 – come and see us, we’ll have tons of give-aways and loads of show offers running throughout the 4 days the show is on. We’d love to meet you and get your feedback on our products and service.

We’re also running a very special competition every day that will see us giving away over £1,000 worth of our stunning wooden USB memory sticks and

wooden USB gift boxes – entry is open to everyone you just need to call by and enter the prize draw. We’ll post details of the winner at the end of the day on our Facebook and Twitter accounts – be sure to sign up and follow us!

If you can’t wait for the show then take a sneak peak at what we can do on our brand new mini-website. It’s dedicated to photographers and features a range of stunning high specification USB sticks and USB gift boxes. There’s are lots of gorgeous images of actual USB sticks we’re produced for professional photographers (you might even recognise and name or two) and we’ve also put together some discounted “bundles” that might be of interest.

USB2U Photographer offers

USB2U Photographer offers

More than anything we’ve tried really hard to pull together USB sticks and complimentary gift boxes that we know will appeal to your customers, there’s a strong focus on natural wood, eco-friendly box fillings and solutions that you simply can’t buy on the high street. From the feedback we’re getting we seem to have got the balance about right but we’re interested to hear what you think at the show.

They’re be a few of us there for the 4 days but if you do stop by make sure you have a chat with Bethany – she looks after most of our photographers and her mum is a highly regarded professional photographer so she’s got the industry in her genes!

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Show Off Your Branded USB Sticks in our Premium White Gift Boxes

Posted by USB2U on 21st January 2014 | Permalink

Although there are promising signs of recovery in the business markets at the moment it’s still tough. We might be on the path to economic recovery but we’re by no means there just yet. The UK seems better placed than most with the IMF expected today to announce an upgrade in the UK’s national output from 1.9% to 2.4%. This of course is a “forecast” but nevertheless it does seem to support the general consensus that things are on the turn.

The challenge for any business and it’s particularly true in challenging market conditions, is to continue to drive growth and stimulate sales. Although by no means the complete answer, promotional USB sticks used as part of a wider marketing campaign have been proven to drive brand and product awareness and to lift sales.

Of the millions of promotional and branded USB memory sticks that are given away each year the ones that look the best, create the biggest impact and generate the most positive feedback are either fully customised (bespoke 3D) models or those that are handed out in a good quality printed (or engraved) gift box.

USB-Gift-Boxes-Small-White

USB-Gift-Boxes-Small-White

Although everyone seems to love being given a freebie giveaway and USB sticks still rate of the most desired and popular promotional gift (source: BPMA survey 2012 when 45% of those asked said they would prefer to be given a USB stick in preference to any other promotional product) the challenge with so many being given away is to make yours stand out from the crowd. Getting creative with the design and commissioning a unique 3D custom USB is one way of doing this but custom models can take time (typically 4-6 weeks) and they are a little more expensive than “standard” models that are available in just 24hrs.

A less expensive option is to hand out your promotional USB sticks in a printed, engraved or personalised gift box. These come in a wide range of colours, shapes and sizes. Some look better engraved (the small wooden boxes) and some look better printed. At USB2U the box that is the most popular with our customers is our premium white glossy box – it’s popular because it’s white so it works with pretty much any brand, it has a really nice glossy, premium feel to it and it comes with a foam insert that can be laser cut to match any USB stick that it’s supplied with.

We’ve also added a smaller version of the Premium White USB gift box to our range – it’s available from today and we’ll be showcasing it at the forthcoming Photography Show 2014 (held at the NEC from the 1st -4th March).

USB Gift Boxes - Premium White Small

USB Gift Boxes - Premium White Small

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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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Turbulent Times In the Promotional USB Memory Stick Market

Posted by USB2U on 18th June 2012 | Permalink

The problems in Greece and the consequential fear over the future stability of the Eurozone have done little to help the market for promotional USB memory sticks. Whist stability in this sector is only likely to be of any interest to the relatively small number of companies that operate in it across Europe it is a sector that has seen more than its fair share of price challenges of late.

If you ever wondered why very few companies selling branded USB memory sticks put prices on their web sites forcing you to contact them for a price (which of course not everyone wants to do or has the time or inclination to do) it’s simply because the core costs of the product that dictate the sales price are inextricably linked to the currency exchange markets, the commodity markets and consumer sentiment.

Flash memory (including the flash memory used to make USB memory sticks) is traded as a commodity just like coffee, tea and oil so it is subject to daily price swings as the traders that deal in it judge global market conditions. Prices are fixed in USB dollars ($) so any for companies in the UK any weakness in Sterling (GBP – £) against the USD ($) pushes up the price up and finally seasonal purchasing patterns lead to supply shortfalls and rising prices.

With all of these “fluid” elements coming together companies that sell USB sticks can typically only take the risk of fixing their prices every day and it is simply not practicable to change prices daily on their web sites.

USB Price Fluctuations

USB Price Fluctuations

Hopefully the decision in yesterday Greece elections to support the pro-bailout parties will help restore some stability to the markets and in particular the currency markets. Nervousness about the situation across the whole of the eurozone and in particular the possibility of Greece voting to leave the EU had pushed the pound (GBP – £) down from around $1.6 a couple of weeks ago to $1.53. This has a direct impact on the cost of branded USB memory sticks which when combined with concerns about future demand (based on market sentiment) has led to further price volatility.

Ironically in the middle of all of this prices for USB sticks with a larger memory capacity have dropped like a stone. Prices for 8GB and 16GB are have fallen by well over 50% in the last couple of months and although there are “mutterings” of the prices going back up it’s unlikely they will ever return to their former highs.

As ever the best advice if you are looking to buying branded USB memory sticks is to speak to a reputable supplier that understand the market dynamics and can offer you some professional advice on when and what to buy.

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Will You Be Sending Out USB Sticks For Christmas

Posted by USB2U on 18th November 2011 | Permalink

If you’re planning to send out a gift to your customers this Christmas then if you’ve not already got your gifts on order then you need to get your skates on because time is ticking away.

Popular gifts tend to include perennial favourites like diaries, calendars, food hampers and bottles of wine and whilst these are always well received at a time when the economy is struggling it’s getting harder to justify gifts that don’t do more than just get consumed.

Historically diaries and calendars would be relatively easy to justify because by their very nature they are used all year long and the recipient is reminded every time they use them of who gave them the calendar or diary. But, with the continued explosion of smart phones, tablets and PC’s how many people actually use paper based diaries or calendars these days?

Branded USB Memory Sticks for Christmas

Branded USB Memory Sticks for Christmas

An interesting alternative to the more traditional gifts is the USB memory stick – these can be printed with your logo (including a Christmas theme or message), they can be supplied in an attractive gift box and more importantly they can be pre-loaded with data before they are sent out.

The data (files) that can be pre-loaded could include a greeting or Christmas message from you and your colleagues (comprising of an “electronic Christmas card”, a short movie, a recorded message etc.) as well as this you could include information on your products/services. By doing this your Christmas USB sticks become “trojan horse like” – not only do you give your customers a timely gift and “thank you” but you also use the opportunity to remind them of the products and services you sell!

This subtle form of marketing is much easier to justify than requesting a budget to send your customers a box of chocolates or a case of wine and the USB sticks will last significantly longer. Given USB sticks were voted as the most popular promotional gift in a recent BPMA survey there’s also no danger of disappointing the recipient.

The usual lead time for branded USB sticks is around 10 working days so there is still time to get them ordered in time for Christmas but don’t leave it too late because you’ll need to make the last posting date for Christmas delivery.

And, if you do plan to post the USB flash drives out you might want to consider getting Credit Card shaped USB flash drives because these give you a larger space to print your message on, they slip easily into the wallet of the recipient and more importantly because they are only 2mm thick they can be sent out using standard letter post.

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Going Round in Circles Looking For Branded USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 14th November 2011 | Permalink

You’d think sourcing branded USB memory sticks for your business or school would be easy after all there are plenty of companies in the market supplying them. To some degree that’s part of the problem – there are now so many companies competing for your business that the overwhelming choice on offer can bamboozle you!

It’s not just the number of suppliers of branded USB sticks that’s the problem it’s the sheer volume of different styles and types of USB sticks that compounds the problem.

Circle Shaped USB Memory Sticks

Circle Shaped USB Memory Sticks

Do you choose plastic, metal, leather, credit card shaped or wood? Do you buy sticks with a small(ish) capacity (say 1GB) or do you go for something a little bigger like a 4GB or 8GB? Even when you think you’ve narrowed down your choice to a particular model of USB drive you’ll still have to think about how you want them printed (one side or both) and do you get them printed onto a standard colour or should you ask for the body shell to be pantone matched to a colour that compliments the logo you’re printing on them?

It doesn’t end there either. When you’ve sorted the model, the memory size, the colour and what you’re printing on them you’ll have to think about whether you want them delivered in “bulk”, or in gift boxes (plain or printed) and whether you want any optional extras like key rings or lanyards (neckstraps)!!

Finally you need to give some consideration to the data you’re going to put on them (assuming you are going to load some data on them before you hand them out) – should this data “auto-run” when the stick is plugged in? Should the data be protected so that it cannot be deleted? If it’s sensitive data should you protect it with a password or go the extra mile and encrypt the data as well as protect it?

Straightforward isn’t it? And, even when you’ve got all of this nailed down there is then the small matter of making sure you’ve chosen a supplier that not only delivers but delivers on time and delivers genuine Grade A flash drives. If you end up with a supplier that lets you down on delivery or promises Grade A flash memory products but delivers “masked” sub-standard drives then all of the decision making angst about what to buy, how to print it, how to package it and so on will be wasted.

The best way to reduce the stress levels when buying branded USB memory sticks is to go with a trusted and proven supplier who can add the weight of their expertise to the selection, buying and delivery process.

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Branded USB Memory Sticks – Do Judge A Book By Its Cover!

Posted by USB2U on 1st November 2010 | Permalink

First impressions really count when is comes to Branded USB Memory sticks. However good the Memory stick looks, the impact can be lost if it does not have appropriate packaging or no packaging at all. One of the key things to consider when ordering Branded USB Memory sticks is how these are going to be handed to / used by clients as this will have a bearing on the type of packaging to use. It is not just the initial impact that is key, but how memory sticks are stored after use. The following is a list of options that will help you to decide which is the most appropriate packaging to use. No packaging. Ok there is the odd time to skip the packaging, for example if they are being inserted into another delivery vehicle e.g. fulfilment pack. However, do ensure that your supplier places the branded Memory Sticks into individual bubble bags or in trays to avoid them scratching in transit. Small Cardboard Box. This entry level box protects the customised memory sticks and is very cost effective. Most suppliers will provide these free of charge. These can be printed for great impact. Don’t expect users to keep these, as most will be filed away in the bin as soon as they are opened. Boxes with windows.

magnetic box and window tin packaging for branded memory sticks

magnetic box and window tin packaging for branded usb flash drives

These are ideal to show the Branded Memory Sticks off in its full glory, as they can be positioned to appear in the window, so no need to print on the box. These come in both cardboard or metal material. Tin Boxes. These gives the Promotional Memory Drive greater gravitas and is an ideal executive gift box. They can be engraved or imprinted with a logo or marketing message that links in with the Branded Memory Stick. It also offer more room to add a neck tie, key ring or printed insert. Price can be expensive so shop around! Blister Pack. If the Branded Memory Sticks are for retail use, then blister packaging may be the solution. It allows the memory sticks to be displayed and a printed card inserted, with a marketing message or to simply show off the Memory Stick in its best light.

blister pack examples for branded usb flash drives

blister packs for branded usb memory sticks

Other things you may need to be aware of: – Make sure the size of the packaging will allow for any accessories e.g. Branded lanyard – Ensure that you order your packaging with the memory sticks, otherwise if these are shipped in separately you would be charged duty on the shippment. – Suppliers are now offering packaging in recycled material – worth asking. – Remember the bigger and heavier the packaging the more it will cost to ship the Branded Memory sticks in.

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Promotional USB Sticks – Is Preloaded Data A Good Idea

Posted by USB2U on 22nd September 2009 | Permalink

We’re getting an increasing number of requests from customers for data loading onto branded and promotional USB memory sticks. It’s a trend that’s been developing for a couple of years now as more and more people realise the real benefit if preloading data onto the sticks.Dataloading

The simple act of printing your logo or brand on a USB memory stick will create a fantastic promotional tool that will well received by anyone its given to. It will help develop and promote your brand and because USB memory sticks are used your brand will stay in the mind of the recipient.

But if you give-away Promotional USB sticks without preloading data onto them you might be missing a trick. Lets face it the memory sticks are fundamentally designed to store and carry data so you might as well use some of the memory you are paying for you load up your catalogues, power point presentations, flash presentation or a pop-up link to your company website(s)

Preloading data can be time consuming but if you’ve got your data ready when you place your order we can get the data loaded for you during the manufacturing process. Even if your data is not ready until closer to the delivery data we are still able to offer a competitive post-manufacture data loading service. You just supply us the data and we’ll take care of the rest.

There are several options to consider when it comes to data loading:

Standard Preload – A standard pre-load just is where we copy your data/files onto your promotional USB drives. Users can access the content at will but they can also delete the files if they don’t want them.

Pros: The data is not intrusive meaning the memory stick is more likely to be used leading to a higher retention value and thus more exposure of your logo/brand.

Cons: The user can easily delete any preloaded files.

Non-Erasable content

In some circumstance it might be appropriate to ensure that data loaded onto your USB memory sticks cannot be removed/deleted. Providing the data is supplied and loaded by us during the manufacturing process then this is not a problem.

During manufacture the memory on the USB Sticks will be “split” (partitioned) into two parts. Onto one section the protected data is loaded leaving the other section blank and available to the user to store/delete their own data.

Pros: Your data/files are always there and available to the user ensuring continuous and on-going exposure and data retention.

Cons: Users cannot delete data from the protected area of the disk to free up extra space. You also have to have the data ready when placing the order because its only possible to protect the data and partition the memory stick during the manufacturing process.

Non-Erasable Autorun

Autorun files do as they suggest – as soon as the USB memory stick is used it will launch a presentation or application. Typical examples would be a flash presentation, a browser with a dynamic link to your website or any other type of executable file that can be autorun in Windows. The autorun files cannot be deleted and as such they are not particularly popular with the recipients because they do become annoying after a while.

Pros: They’re a great way to get information about your company, your products and your brand “in the face” of the user.

Cons: Typically deemed as intrusive, a little annoying and as such retention value is impacted. They also sometime won’t work on older PC’s with Windows 98 or some networked PC’s.

If you’re not sure whether preloading files would be right for you or which type of preloading would be appropriate for your branded USB memory sticks then give us a call and we’ll talk you through the options in more detail.

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