USB2U News

USB2U Announce Merger with Gilt Edged Promotions

Posted by USB2U on 17th September 2015 | Permalink

USB2U are pleased to announce that they have joined forces with a leading promotional product specialist also based in Northampton; Gilt Edged Promotions. Gilt Edged and USB2U are both well-established names in the promotional products industry in their own right and they are now looking forward to an even brighter future together.

Both companies will be working together under one roof in Moulton Park and their aim is to become the UK’s leading ‘one stop shop’ for anything and everything branded with a logo. Together they will generate a combined annual revenue of £8.5m. USB2U and Gilt Edged will continue to trade under their well-known individual brand names and the 60+ strong team are excited by the opportunities that their shared skill-sets and strengths will bring.

Team USB2U and Gilt Edged in Moulton Park

Team USB2U and Gilt Edged in Moulton Park

The owners and directors, Jonathan Cook of Gilt Edged Promotions and Sebastian La Porta of USB2U, said “The merger is seen as a natural progression for both businesses and is a perfect strategic fit. We strongly believe that the combined resources will drive further growth and development for both our loyal customers and our dedicated staff”.

Both businesses uniquely boast in-house state of the art manufacturing equipment, enabling them to deliver printed USB memory sticks, branded Power Banks and many other useful products in unparalleled time-frames. They are delighted to be bringing professional and promotional gift production back to the heart of the UK right here in the Midlands. With a combined 45+ years’ experience in the industry, both teams have a wealth of experience to share with their new colleagues and the possibilities moving forward are exciting news for Northampton.

USB2U are now part of the Gilt Edged Group.

USB2U are now part of the Gilt Edged Group

Notes for Editors:

Both businesses are based in Northampton and will now operate together from a 37,000 square foot factory and office facility in Moulton Park, Northampton.  Gilt Edged Promotions becomes the majority shareholder.

Who are Gilt Edged Promotions?

Gilt Edged began producing promotional products in 1986.  Their product range includes a full range of promotional merchandise, as well as diaries, calendars and notebooks.  In addition they are a supplier of branded clothing and work-wear all finished in-house in their facility in Northampton.

Who are USB2U?

USB2U were established in 2002 and now supply in excess of 1.3 million branded USB memory sticks per year. Their UK based printing and engraving facilities have enabled them to gain an excellent reputation for branding and printing technology related products with outstanding lead times.


For more information and photo opportunity please contact: 

Anne-Marie Cook – Marketing Manager   Tel: 01604 672306 Mobile:07931 137024

Email: [email protected]


5 Reasons to Attend USB2U’s Photography Open Evening

Posted by USB2U on 6th August 2015 | Permalink

At 6.30pm on Wednesday 23rd September 2015, USB2U will open the doors of their new home at Gilt Edged House to professional photographers from around the local area for an evening of networking, knowledge sharing and most importantly – prosecco!

In June, the entire USB2U team uprooted from their humble office in Duston to an impressive premises in Moulton Park, with ample room for growth in print, production and more. USB2U have been trading for almost 13 years now, and we have become the most trusted supplier of Branded USB Memory Sticks to the photographic sector in the UK and worldwide.

USB2U Photographers Open Evening, Weds 23rd Sept 2015

USB2U Invite Professional Photographers to visit their HQ

But there are so many companies out there offering custom USB Sticks, we hear you cry, what makes USB2U so special and why should I come and see them?

Here are just 5 reasons why we think you should come along and say hello:

  1. You get to see what goes on behind the scenes and watch our state of the art equipment in action. Unlike other suppliers who print their memory sticks in the Far East, USB2U print and engrave the vast majority of their Branded USBs and Presentation Boxes right here in the Midlands. We do this to the highest standard, keeping a close eye on quality and delivering unparalleled results. Watching your logo come to life on our laser engraving machines is quite epic and you’ll want to see it for yourself.
  2. You can finally put a face to that name. Whether your Account Manager is Godfrey, Natalie or another member of our friendly sales team, this is the perfect opportunity to get to know who you are ordering your USB sticks with.
  3. You can ask our USB experts about the latest technologies and products. We pride ourselves in having the most knowledgeable staff who know everything there is to know about a USB Memory Stick. Have a technical query about high spec drives or USB3.0? Just ask. Not sure how to create vector artwork? Please shout and we will show you.
  4. You can take advantage of our special offers and discount codes and save yourself some cash. When you run a small business, it’s vital to be savvy about your finances. We’ve been there and know just how important it is. Don’t pay over the odds and make sure you grab yourself a deal.
  5. And finally… Prosecco. Need we say more?!

The Professional Photographers Open Evening is the first event of its kind for USB2U and it is definitely one that we are hoping to continue to run moving forward.  Don’t forget to RSVP. We hope to see you there.


Reviews of USB2U Push Towards 3,000 on Trustpilot

Posted by USB2U on 31st March 2015 | Permalink

Confidence is one of the key factors when you’re buying from a company that you deal with over the Internet. Confidence that you’re in safe hands, confidence that you’ll actually get what you ordered and in time for when you need them and confidence that should things go wrong (as they occasionally do) that the company is able and willing to front up and deal with the issues.

Of course it’s not unheard of for companies to exaggerate claims about their capabilities to stretch the truth a little or to flat out lie about what the quality of what they are selling and to avoid dealing with any post sales issues or queries that might arise.

In an age when a great looking website can be thrown up in a matter of hours/days its relatively easy for anyone to claim they are the “greatest” supplier, that they have “thousands of satisfied customers” and that they can deliver top quality products in a matter of days. But, should you trust everything you read on a companies own website and take it as fact?

Printed Twister USB Sticks

Printed Twister USB Sticks

Before you place any order for promotional products (like branded USB memory sticks) that are going to carry your brand and logo on them we’d strongly advocate that you try and validate some of the comments claimed on the companies website that you plan to buy from. It’s one thing having a bad Internet shopping experience when you’re buying something for yourself but trusting your company’s brand and reputation to a 3rd party based purely on what they say about themselves is to put it mildly “a little risky”.

The Internet not only enables the little start up companies to compete with the bigger boys BUT more fundamentally it gives a strong voice to customers to share their shopping experiences (good and bad) with other prospective customers. Just as you’d use a site like Trip Advisor to review a hotel or holiday company before you make a booking we’d strongly advocate using 3rd party review sites like Trustpilot to see what customers are saying about suppliers of products like branded USB memory sticks.

Arguably such review sites (providing there is a critical mass of reviews and providing they are recent) are a safer way to gauge the capabilities of a company to deliver against their promises.

At USB2U we strongly encourage all of our customers to review the service they’ve received from us on Trustpilot. We already have around 2,9000 reviews and we expect to smash through 3,000 reviews in the next couple of weeks. So, if you’re thinking of ordering your branded flash drives from us then don’t just take our word for how good our service is check out what thousands of customers are saying – we’re currently ranked as “Excellent” with a trust score of 9.7 out of 10.


Five Days and Counting – Come See USB2U at The Photography Show

Posted by USB2U on 17th March 2015 | Permalink

The weather forecast for this weekend (according to the BBC) is “cool and breezy with scattered showers” so not exactly the weather for doing a great deal outside. The gardening and other chores can wait until things perk up a little and the promises you made to get your bike out or take the kids for a walk in the Spring sunshine to see the new season lambs might have to be put on hold – well for a few days at least!

This weekend your time, if you’re a professional photographer or budding amateur that’s thinking of going professional this year, would be better spent at The Photography Show in Birmingham. The show takes place at the NEC in Hall 5 and runs from this Saturday (21st March) until Tuesday (24th March) and it’s going to be massive. Last year over 29,000 professional and enthusiast photographers attended the show and the organisers expect this year’s numbers to be even higher.

USB2U at The Photography Show

USB2U will be a The Photography Show at the NEC this were

With a mission to create a “photography day out you’ll never forget” the organisers have pulled out all the stops to bring together a 4 day program that is rammed full of exciting, informative and education elements with plenty of fun and shopping opportunities along the way. There will be plenty of chances to have a play with some of the very latest kit, to hear first hand from some of the world’s most inspirational photographers (Tom Stoddart and Mary Ellen Mark to name but two) what makes them tick and how they approach their work.

There will be advice clinics (run by Bowens) and plenty of in-show seminars and workshops to help you brush up on your skills. If you do decide to go then don’t forget your own camera because there will be tons of photo opportunities throughout the event and of course there will be lots of competitions to enter with some amazing prizes on offer.

We’ll be there again this year (come see us on Stand H131) but having been overrun last year we’ve invested in a bigger stand this year! We’ll also have more of our amazing USB2U team on hand to talk you through our USB Memory Stick and gift box packages and there will be plenty of show discounts and offers that you can take advantage of.

We’re taking lots and lots of examples of printed and engraved USB memory sticks and examples of our new wooden gift boxes that we’re keen to get feedback on – we love them but we’d still value your opinion.

If photography is your thing then we’d strongly recommend making some time to come to the show later this week and if you do please make sure you stop by and say hello – we’d love to show you what we can do and if you’re an existing customer we’d love to catch up with you and get your feedback on our work.


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.



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


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


Pimp up your memory sticks with funky accessories

Posted by USB2U on 19th December 2013 | Permalink

A memory stick is a great way to transport data, but all too often they make their way down to the bottom of your pocket or bag, only to be forgotten or replaced. To help avoid losing that important little stick, there are many different options to keep it at hand, as well as funky accessories and packaging to give it an extra va-va-voom!


Lanyard USB Memory Sticks
Lanyards are probably the most popular choice with many of our customers to giveaway with their branded USB sticks. They can be attached securely to the USB drive and placed around the user’s neck – a great idea to avoid losing vital data! And whilst lanyards are typically worn around the neck, it’s not unusual for them to be hanging out of pockets or belt loops, wrapped around as wrist straps or attached to and hanging from many other things! Lanyards can also be branded with your logo or message for extra brand exposure.


Keyrings for USB Flash Drives
Keyrings are also a useful accessory to consider. Like lanyards, they can be attached to the USB drive and in turn attached to a set of keys, meaning you will never be without your memory stick and data! They are available in different sizes and are more robust than lanyards.


Carabiner USB - from USB2U
Our carabiners are fast becoming a favourite, not least because they ARE the USB, rather than being just an accessory! Available in a range of memory sizes from 1GB-16GB, they can be printed on both sides and give the benefits of being functional and a novelty!

We also sell normal carabiners that can be branded and attach to the hook of different styles of USB stick. They’re great for attaching onto bags or laptop cases.

Engraved Dog Tags
These cute little metal dog tags can be engraved with any message and logo to complement your USB sticks, and why not 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

Upgrade Your Gift Box
In addition to our standard white gift boxes, we offer a wide range of packaging options including wooden boxes that look great engraved or printed, top quality white premium gift boxes that look stunning printed and several different versions of tins, with and without windows. All come with custom cut foam to hold your USB sticks in place (our wooden slider boxes come with a fine coconut coir inlay).

Printed White Gift Boxes for Your USB Sticks

Velvet Drawstring Bags
If you want to give a touch of luxury whilst offering an option to keep the USB safe, why not hand them out in one of our little velvet drawstring bags! These are a simple yet elegant option that are popular especially with our wooden range of USB sticks.



All of the above mentioned accessories can be supplied with your order of branded USB memory sticks and are available in different colours, shapes and sizes. If you are not sure about which would suit you best, please contact USB2U where an Account Manager will be happy to discuss your options.




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

Posted by USB2U on | 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.