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USB2U Welcomes Paul, Bethany, Tracey and John-Paul to the team

Posted by USB2U on 19th December 2013 | Permalink

It’s been a very busy year at USB2U with more and more customers turning to us to supply them with their branded USB memory sticks. Our customer numbers have rocketed, sales enquiries continue to increase and more importantly our customer seem to love what we do. Don’t take our word for it check out the hundreds of lovely comments on TrustPilot from our customers from the past few months and you’ll get a good feel for what our customers think about the service we offer.

What’s really encouraging is the number of sales to customers outside of the UK and the stellar growth in sales to professional photographers. The increase in sales in the Photography sector was largely expected but the growth from outside of the UK (and in countries as far afield as Australia) has been really surprising – with little to no advertising outside of the UK our international growth is largely being driven by word of mouth which is really gratifying.

Of course with all of this increased activity we need more great people to help us grow the business and to support our customers – it’s critical to us that we maintain the same of level of service we’ve always prided ourselves on.

With this in mind we’ve been on a bit of a recruitment splurge and we’re delighted to announce that Paul, Bethany, Tracey and Jean-Paul have joined our team. Bethany is going to focus on our Professional Photographer customers (it helps that her mum is a highly regarded local professional photographer), Tracey will be supporting the sales team and Paul and John-Paul are seasoned sales professionals who will give us scope to expand the business in 2014.

USB2U-Hires-new-staff-to-underpin 2014 growth

USB2U-Hires-new-staff-to-underpin 2014 growth

Now in our 12th year we’re one of the leading suppliers of branded USB memory sticks in Europe and whilst we don’t have any plans for world domination it would be nice to see further growth in our non-UK sales in 2014 – remember we can, and do, ship anywhere in the world!

So if you’re looking for a trusted supplier for your promotional USB flash drive in 2014 then irrespective of where you are in the world why not give us a try. If you’re a professional photographer and you’re looking to move to USB sticks from CD’s and DVD’s then give Bethany a call – she knows her stuff and she’d love to hear from you!


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


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.


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


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.




The Chronology of a Rush Request for Printed USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 21st June 2012 | Permalink

If you find yourself up against a tight deadline for printed USB memory sticks then it’s worth knowing that USB2U offer a “rush” service that can often deliver them in under 24hrs. So whether you’ve been let down by another supplier, you simply “forgot” to order them or more likely your boss has decided at the last minute that printed USB sticks would be a good idea, don’t panic, there is typically always a solution.

Fortunately at USB2U we carry lots of blank stock (different models in different memory sizes) and we can print, engrave and load data in house so we have complete control of the end to end process. Because of this we can typically flex our print schedule to help customers who are in a real bind and need their flash drives the very next day.

Below is a real-life example of how we helped a rescue a London Agency who at the last minute realised they needed branded (and dataloaded) USB Sticks for a press event being run by one of their blue-chip clients the following day:

Day 1 – 3.00pm

Customer calls asking if there is any way we could print 250 x 2GB USB sticks with their clients’ logo and get them delivered to central London before noon the following day? Oh, and all 250 USB sticks also need pre-loading with a series of PDF’s PowerPoint Slides and a short video.

Day 1 – 3.10pm

The account manager checks with the design/print team to see if we can schedule the job and checks with the data loading team to see if they can “squeeze in” a last minute job. Everyone is up for it but with only 2hrs before our courier collects it’s going to be tight so to be on the safe side we agree with the customer that a same day van can be organised for the morning.

Day 1 – 3.20pm

Customer signs off the order confirmation form and emails through their artwork and data and arranges payment by credit card.

Day 1 – 3.30pm

Our designers send a mock-up back to the customer of how their printed USB sticks will look – all approved.

Day 1 – 4.00pm

All 250 USB sticks have had the customers files copied onto them and they are passed to the print team.

Day 1 – 4.45pm

The USB sticks are printed as per the mock-up

Day 1 – 4.50pm

The printed and data-loaded USB sticks are QA checked, virus checked and individually packed into small polythene bags. The order is then finally packed into a USB2U carton, a small “thank you” card and pack of Haribo sweets is include with the order.

Day 1 – 5pm

The customers boxed order for 250 printed and data loaded sticks is collected by our overnight courier just 2 hours after the initial enquiry. The customer is sent the tracking details by email (the order has been sent on a pre-noon service) and the same day van that was put on “standby” is cancelled.

Day 2 – 11am

The printed USB sticks are delivered to the Press Event venue in Central London and the day is saved! The London Agency and their client are delighted and just a little bit stunned that in just 20hrs from making a phone call they have the branded USB sticks they wanted.

Now, ideally we’d like a little more time to perform these miracles but we have proven time and time again that it is possible. Every day we print and data load USB sticks for delivery the following day, most customers call in the morning rather than at 3pm in the afternoon and these extra few hours do help but if you are really, really up against it then call us – we like a challenge and we’ll do everything we can reasonably do to help.

Rush Service USB Flash Drives

Rush Service USB Flash Drives



Brand Building With Logo Printed USB Flash Drives

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

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.


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.


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.


Why Choose USB2U?

Posted by USB2U on 21st July 2011 | Permalink

USB2U is pleased to announce a new standard offer and a new homepage.

New Standard Offer

We now have a standard, permanent offer that includes the following:

  • FREE Delivery to one UK mainland address
  • FREE 4 Colour spot printing
  • FREE Data load up to 100mb
  • FREE Lanyards or Key Rings
  • FREE Gift box
  • Minimum Order Quantity of 25 units

These great offers apply to apply to every standard order regardless of USB style, quantity, or memory size.

USB2U Offer

Free Delivery
Yes, standard delivery to one UK mainland address is FREE.  This applies to all standard orders regardless of order quantity, style or memory size.  We think that free delivery reduces the complication of different added costs and that it is good to know up-front how much your branded USB flash drives will cost.  Standard delivery is sent first class however; any times deliveries such as guaranteed next-day delivery will be charged for.

Free Printing
All of our flash drives now come with free colour printing up to four spot colours.  Multi-coloured logos and complicated designs are not a problem either as we are also offering free Resin Dome Stickers on our most popular USB model, the Twister.  To find out more about the Resin Dome Stickers click here and to see the Twister USB flash drive in more detail click here.

Free Data Load
We’ll load or copy any data you want onto the sticks for FREE. The only constraint is that the data must be less than 100MB otherwise a small charge will apply. We have our own in-house professional USB data duplication equipment so we can load you data right at the last minute if you struggle to get the data ready till then.

Free Lanyard or Key Ring
With all orders we are offering a selection of free coloured lanyards and key rings to accompany your USBs.  Our lanyards come in a range of 8 different colours, Black, White, Grey, Blue, Green, Orange, Red and Yellow.  Lanyards and Key Rings are ideal for School’s giving the USBs to their students.

Free Gift Box
With every order for branded flash drives we can supply free gift boxes. Please remember to ask for these, as we know not everyone wants them. As well as these free standard boxes we offer a wide range of presentation boxes and tins for your branded USB flash drives and these can be branded up with your logo as well to really compliment the memory stick. Ask for samples if you’re not sure. These can be seen here: USB Packaging.

25 Unit Minimum Order Quantity
Unlike some promotional companies, our minimum order quantity for printed flash drives is set at a realistic 25 pieces. If you just want plain (unprinted stock) then you can order from 5 pieces upwards.

New Homepage

To accompany our new great offer we have also just launched a brand new homepage that looks better, loads quicker and offers easier navigation.

Better Looking
We think that the new style of the homepage is much more tidy and sharp, the same way you feel when you have had a haircut.  The modules separate the different areas and links featured on the homepage easier on the eye and the new slider banner is much sleeker.

Quicker at Loading

Our homepage changes don’t only have an aesthetic appeal; it is now also quicker at loading.  This will make it much more convenient to visit our site and browse through our wide range of USB drives.

Easier Navigation
The new homepage has been revamped so that you can find what you want faster.  We have organised modules so that the more important and more frequently used sections of our site such as the product range, 48 hour rush service and Quote page are more accessible.

So, to see what all of the fuss is about and to view our new homepage click here.