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Custom USB Memory Sticks – Hell Yeah!

Posted by USB2U on 5th June 2015 | Permalink

At USB2U when asked if we can supply Custom USB memory sticks the answer is a clear, unequivocal and loud “Hell yeah” we do. Hopefully we say it with a little more success than Ed Miliband did when giving his response to Jeremy Paxman during the Pre-Election TV debate when asked by Paxman if he was tough enough for the job of prime minister.

The judgement on our ability to produce and supply Custom USB sticks is not the UK electorate (thankfully) but instead the customers that have trusted us with their orders for more than a decade.

To be clear custom drives or bespoke USB flash drives as they are also referred are promotional USB memory sticks drives that have been designed and manufactured in a shape requested by the customer. Typically the shape will reflect the type of products they sell or might be a simple representation of their brand or logo. Typical examples have included a USB Fork-Lift Truck, a USB ship, USB sticks in the shape of lips or USB Training Shoes for Nike. Literally anything is possible!

These types of sticks are truly “custom” in all senses of the word. One of our designers takes a brief from a customer, we then produce a series of 3-D drawings for comment/approval, our factory then produce a 3-D mock-up before we commit the design into production. The design and final mould used to manufacture the USB sticks is “owned” by the customer so no other company will be able to copy the final product.

Custom Flash Drives are definitely not standard “factory designed” flash drives that have simply been printed, engraved or “stickered” to make them look a little different. Whilst simple printed USB drives can look excellent they don’t deliver the same “wow” factor that you get with a truly custom version and because of this they don’t do as good a job in terms of brand development, brand recall or brand loyalty– something which for many businesses are the core reasons for buying and distributing flash drives.

Historically lots of customers may have been put off ordering bespoke versions because of fears about set-up costs and high unit costs but these are now a thing of the past. Likewise minimum order quantities have fallen from thousands to just a couple of hundred! The only thing to bear in mind is the longer lead-time – to design and manufacture them you’ll need to allow around 3-4 weeks rather than 3-4 days.

If you are looking for a supplying of Custom USB memory sticks then make sure you put USB2U on your list – we love working on these projects and have had huge success with them over the years.

Custom-USB-Shapes

Custom-USB-Shapes

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Custom USB Sticks to get your Teeth into!

Posted by USB2U on 17th March 2015 | Permalink

We spotted this image on a recent post by Viralands and it stopped us in our tracks in a ghoulish sort of way. As you might expect we’re strong advocates of pretty much all types and styles of USB sticks including fully customised versions but a denture-USB! Really! Surely there has to be a “is it in good taste line” (no pun intended) and this in this case the line seems to have been crossed.

It’s not obvious from the image if it’s a fake, a one-off prototype or just something that someone has knocked up to create a bit of a stir. If it is real then putting aside the slightly creepy design you can’t really knock innovation or the capability the flash drive would give you to discretely carry your data and back-ups around with you! The question is who would really want one and who would be willing (or daft enough) to wear them – they hardly fall into the James Bond (designed by “M”) category of must have spy kit.

USB Dentures

USB Dentures – A little bit radical

They’re more like something you’d give your grandmother but without wishing to be unkind to grandmothers we’re not sure how many would know what to do with a Denture USB memory stick!

The one thing most customized flash drives do is make an impact and we always suggest to our corporate clients that instead of buying standard models printed or engraved with their logo on that they commission fully bespoke ones instead. Surprisingly they don’t cost much more than standard versions and long gone are the days of expensive set-up fees and tooling costs. The only real negative of ordering bespoke sticks is that you need to allow more time! Whilst we’re incredibly quick at turning around printed USB sticks (as quick as 24hrs) we need around 3-4 weeks to design, proof, manufacture and deliver fully bespoke versions.

If you have got this amount of time before your event then do talk to us about fully customised flash drives. They can be made in the shape of pretty much anything. Over the years we’ve designed and produced hundreds including USB ducks, cars, trucks, boats, words, planes, strawberries, lips and bags just to name but a few.

You don’t have to worry about supplying finished designed to us all we need is a willingness to work with us and a basic idea – our in-house design team will take care of the rest for you and we’ll work with you until you are happy and your custom USB memory sticks have been delivered.

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Will Your Be Buying Custom USB Memory Sticks in 2015

Posted by USB2U on 3rd February 2015 | Permalink

China might be about to enter the year of the Sheep but the USB memory stick market is, we believe, about to enter the year of the Custom model. We’ve seen a few false dawns over the last couple of years but finally this year all of the stars seem to be in alignment and it finally looks as though the year of the Custom USB has come.

If anything the UK is playing catch up with the rest of the world because in some markets fully customised models make up nearly 50% of the promotional market. In the UK, we’re significantly behind this at around 5% – 10%.

Why the difference? Well, first of all we need to be clear that when we say “custom” that we mean a fully bespoke 2-D or 3-D versions that are designed and manufactured to a customer’s specification. They are not standard models that are customised with a logo or design. An example would be a flash drive in the shape of a truck or a power drill or a word. They are “one-offs” and the customer who has commissioned them will not only take delivery of the finished product but they’ll own the rights to the design – no one else will have a USB stick the same as theirs, it will be unique and it will be in a shape/design then have actively been involved in the development of.

Custom USB Memory Sticks

Custom USB Memory Sticks from USB2U

We think the UK is lagging behind other developed markets in this sector is because of ignorance, high perceived costs and an expectation that leads times are going to be horrendous. Clearly the task of “educating” the market about the availability and benefits of ordering fully customised USB flash drives falls to suppliers like us and we’re ready to take on this challenge.

The benefits are well proven – they generate more buzz, they get people talking about the brand/product that they’re representing, they are more likely to be kept and used (over and over again) and photographs of them are far more likely to find their way onto Social Media sites which in turn will drive “chatter” about the brand/product. They are a great promotional product.

What does surprise most customers that ask about them is just how inexpensive they are and how quickly they can be designed, manufactured and delivered. Yes, you will pay more for them but typically its only about 10% – 20% more than a simple printed stick and the lead times at around 3-4 weeks are not unreasonable. You just need to think a little bit further ahead and plan (perhaps that’s our collective problem!).

To be clear there are no tooling and set-up costs, there are no artwork and design fees and you will “own” the rights to the finished product and you’ll get all of this (and the marketing benefits) for a small premium on the unit price. 2015 will be the year of the Custom USB memory stick.

Custom USB Memory Sticks - Shapes

Custom USB Memory Sticks – Shapes

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Are Your Suppliers Of Custom USB Sticks All Heart

Posted by USB2U on 14th February 2012 | Permalink

Custom USB memory sticks are available in all sorts of different shapes and sizes and if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for you can always get your own design commissioned. But, before you rush to get your own custom USB sticks designed and manufactured it’s worth spending some time researching what is already available.

Don’t think you’re going to be restricted to a range of pretty basic rectangular shaped plastic sticks because the range now is vast – off the shelf options include square drives, round drives, drives made from wood, leather and metal, flash drives that “glow”, bamboo drives that are 100% recyclable, flash drives that are made to wear like a wristband and flash drives that are in the shape of a heart.

The list is almost endless and then add to this colour variations within each model, the fact that some come “trimmed” with leather or metal and you start to get a feel for just how overwhelming it can be to narrow it down to a suitable drive.

If you do struggle or you’re not the most decisive of people when it comes to making a decision about these sort of things you could ask your supplier to work up a few examples for you – most will do this and most have in-house designers that over the years will have developed an “eye” for what works and what doesn’t. Push the problem (or challenge) at them and get them to apply some creativity to the sales process.

Remember that whichever Custom USB sticks you finally choose you should get your suppliers to pre-load your sales material, press release information etc. onto the sticks – and don’t expect to pay for this service unless you are loading huge amounts of data onto the sticks. It’s not a question of the suppliers being “all heart” and doing this for the love of it but instead it’s a reflection of just how competitive things are in the market at the moment.

Heart Shaped USB Memory Sticks

Heart Shaped USB Memory Sticks

Other things to expect from your supplier as part of the “standard service” are; free delivery (in country anyway), free print and payment with the order should be a “no no”. It’s fair enough if you’ve not traded with them before to expect paying as they ship your order to you but not as you place your order which could be up to 2-3 weeks before they ship them out. You might even be able to squeeze out a free “rush service” if you’re in a hurry and they have spare capacity – it’s certainly worth asking the question.

If you’re suppliers are not able to supply the above core services and/or are not prepared to negotiate on some of the things they would normally charge for them be prepared to walk away or at the very least shop around for competitive quotes.

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Where To Buy Your Custom USB Memory Sticks During Chinese New Year

Posted by USB2U on 5th January 2012 | Permalink

The happiness in China at the prospect of the forthcoming New Year holiday to celebrate the Year of Dragon is in stark contrast to the challenges faced by customers who have come to rely on China’s ability to turn-around orders for custom USB memory sticks in a matter of days.

Whilst there are hundreds of suppliers of custom USB memory sticks in the UK the vast majority of these will place their orders on a host of specialised factories in China or they will have their own manufacturing capabilities in China. Either way Chinese New Year will effectively mean that nothing gets produced or shipped for around 3-4 weeks and even when production starts up again it can take a week of two for things to get back to normal.

Buying Custom USB Memory Sticks During Chinese New Year

Buying Custom USB Memory Sticks During Chinese New Year

Normal production and delivery schedules are typically 7-10 days from the date you place your order with a UK suppliers albeit a fairer measure is from the date you approve the production proof which can be a couple of days after the order has been placed. Given the logistics involved it’s no mean feat to make this happen and understandably a major event like a long national holiday can have a dramatic impact.

The key dates to be aware of are the 6th January to the 4th February. If you place an order for custom USB memory sticks after the 6th January then there is a very strong likelihood that you won’t get your order delivered until the end of the first week in February (at best) and most likely mid-February. So, be very wary of any delivery promises you are made over the next few days and weeks because we’re about to enter a very unstable and unpredictable time.

The only safe way to buy Custom USB Memory Sticks if you have a delivery deadline that falls during the next few weeks is to find a local supplier that holds UK stock and can print and dataload (if needed) the stock for you.

Given the costs and risks associated with doing this most of the smaller suppliers won’t be able to offer what is commonly called a “rush service”. Instead, you’ll need to seek out one of the larger and more established companies like USB2U who always carry a large inventory of blank USB memory sticks and have in-house capabilities to print and dataload the USB sticks.

The “Rush Service” that USB2U offer allows them to fulfil orders in as little as 24hrs but during Chinese New Year this can get stretched to 48hrs as demand for the service increases.

For the very latest information about what USB sticks are available and in what memory sizes you are best to give them a call.

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Daily Christmas Offers From USB2U – Check Out Our Advent Calendar

Posted by USB2U on 5th December 2011 | Permalink

We’ve decided to get into the Christmas spirit early this yeas so in the run up to Christmas we’re running a whole series of special offers and prize giveaways. All of the details of the offers and the offer codes will be revealed on our Advent Calendar.

Our advent calendar is dead easy to use – simply click on the window that matches the date to reveal the offer of the day. There’s no registration needed – you simply claim your offer or gift by mentioning the Gift Code when you send you quote request in or when you speak to one of our account managers.

USB2U Advent Calendar

USB2U Advent Calendar

To give you a taster of what’s going to be on offer the daily deals will include

  • Unlimited data-loading on your USB sticks (any size of data will be loaded by us using our professional data loading machines) – we usually charge for any data over 200MB so if you have particularly large files to pre-load onto your USB sticks this an offer that is well worth watching out for.
  • Special discounts on certain memory sizes or types of USB flash drive.
  • Free pantone matching – match the body colour of the USB stick to one of the colours from your logo or choose a colour that will help your logo stand-out. Colour matching usually costs around £50 so if it’s something you’re interested in then keep an eye out for which window this will be behind.
  • Free 16GB USB Flash Drives with every order.

If you don’t think you’ll remember to go to our Advent Calendar everyday then you could follow up on Twitter where we’ll be posting out the offer of the day every day!

Now’s a good time to buy your promotional USB Flash Drives because not only will you be able to take advantage of these cracking deals but you’ll avoid the scramble for USB sticks that takes place every year in January when the factories in China that produce them close to celebrate Chinese New Year.

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We Make ‘Cool USB Flash Drives’

Posted by USB2U on 2nd August 2011 | Permalink

In attempts to be a fully pro-active company as opposed to a reactive company we like to keep an eye on the micro-environment and on the wider industry.  Being a promotional USB company this sometimes means looking at new USB models and styles.  This can oftentimes be quite a fun job especially with the imagination and creativity of some people with a lot of time on their hands out there.

Lego Custom USB Memory Stick

Searching ‘cool USB drive’ on Google Images is not the most effective way of keeping up to date with new USB flash drive news but can certainly be an entertaining 5 minutes looking at some wacky things that people have come up with.  Nintendo Wii remote controls, Lego bricks, wine corks, cars, clothes pegs, vegetables and figurines are a small number of the shells that people have made to case their USB flash drive in.  We think that these flash drives are certainly cool and deserve some kudos, some of them can even make you laugh or have you stare in amazement at the level of attention and detail.  These novelty drives, although extremely imaginative, seem also very impractical.

One of the greatest benefits of USB flash drives is that they are portable and can be stored with a large amount of data for their size (up to 256GB for one specific flash drive).  It has to be asked how often some of these novelty USB drives would be used for what they were made for, or how much they would sit on a desk as an ornament.  I’m sure many of us have had the situation where our USB flash drive fit into our laptop or the back of a computer tower because they pack the USB slots so close together and our flash drive is a little too bulky to fit between the leads and existing USB connectors.

A Selection of Our Custom USBs

We also sell a variety of novelty branded USB flash drives disguising themselves as other things.  Although in most cases our Promotional USB memory sticks are not as bizarre as some that can be found on Google but fortunately, they are much more functional.  Take, for example our USB mini people which can be customised to our customers requirements.  Our USB pill drive, not surprisingly resembles a pill, the credit card range are almost exactly the same size as the real thing and our USB key drive disguises itself nicely on a key ring.  We sell many more in our standard range of Logo USB memory sticks; metal and plastic USB bottle, USB pen range, USB bottle opener, the list continues.  All of these drives are easily portable and extremely functional.  If however, a custom USB flash drive really is what you are looking for then we have just the thing for you.

We can cater for your custom USB needs by customising the shape, colour, size, almost everything about the USB flash drive.  Contact us via telephone, email or via our quote form so we can work with you to produce your perfect custom USB and who knows, maybe your USB will be seen in our next search for ‘cool USB drives’ on Google Images.

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Don’t Gamble On Your USB Flash Drive Supplier

Posted by USB2U on 18th July 2011 | Permalink

Having watched Jim Eastwood in the final of The Apprentice last night it’s tempting to fill this article with puns such as “when the chips are down” and “it’s a sure bet” but I’ll try and resist the urge!

These bespoke USB poker chips were designed and manufactured by us for our customer. Despite their appearance they work just like any regular USB flash drive, they’ve got an internal memory of several Gigabytes, they can hold thousands of documents and files and they connect to any PC or Mac via a standard USB connector.

The real benefit of commissioning a USB flash drive in a custom shape is the impact they make when they are handed out. Lots of companies now use standard USB flash drives that are printed up with their logo on but far fewer go to the trouble of getting USB flash drives produced in a custom shape.

Custom USB Poker Chip

Custom USB Poker Chip

Custom USB flash drives take a little longer to produce (allow around 3-4 weeks) and they are a little more expensive than standard, printed USB drives but bear in mind you are getting something unique produced and you’ll “own” the mould and design so no-one else can have flash drives produced in exactly the same shape.

Most custom USB flash drives are made from PVC, rubber or some form of silicon compound and pretty much any shape or design can be manufactured. At USB2U we’ve designed and supplied custom models in the shape of pieces of fruit, outside toilets, floor heaters, eggs, Nike trainers, fork-lift trucks and removal vans to name but a few!

Just like standard flash drives we recommend pre-loading any custom USB drive with your company information (sales data, press releases, presentation slides, white papers, price lists etc.) before they are handed out. The more information you can pre-load onto them the more printing and distribution (postage costs etc) you can offset to help cover the cost of buying the USB drive. Not only this but customers seem to prefer getting sales brochures etc. in an electronic format because they have less to “lug around” (particularly useful at trade shows and conferences).

If you’ve already decided that you want a Custom Shaped USB Flash Drive then the next challenge will be to find a supplier you can trust to help you turn your concept into the finished article. There are lots of companies in the UK that will claim they can offer a custom service but our advice is to go with a supplier that has been around in the industry for a number of years, has a proven track record of delivery and ideally ahs in-house designers that can help you with the early stages of the product design. As I mentioned custom USB flash drives take a little longer to produce so you don’t want to have to repeat the process should your first choice supplier let you down.

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A Custom NHS Reform Calls for Custom USB Drives

Posted by USB2U on 15th June 2011 | Permalink

The NHS reform has recently had a lot of media coverage, but what’s it all about?  The Coalition Government announced a proposed NHS reform last summer and it consequently received a lot of criticism.  The original proposition included opening the NHS up to allow for promoted competition in the form of private companies, passing the responsibility of the budgets and purse strings over to GP’s and to roll it out quickly to be in full effect by 2013. USB2U has already provided a wide range of medical USB branded flash drives from our classic pill drive to a customised branded syringe drive for Boots.  All of these drives were pre-loaded with marketing content designed to lobby and sell to potential customers.  A branded USB packed with marketing information and sales material would be a great idea for private companies to lobby to GP’s to provide medical services for the NHS.

Substantial criticism caused by the proposition lead to an independent review.  The review suggested the following amends to the original proposition: to have managed competition as opposed to more promoting competition, nurses and hospital doctors would also be included in the control of the budgets alongside GP’s and the roll-out would be slowed down and the consortia of nurses, doctors and GP’s take control in areas of the UK where they can.  As the review has called for a more managed approach to competition in the NHS it will take additional marketing touches like a branded USB drive packed with pre-loaded marketing material to stand out and secure the business.

Yesterday David Cameron spoke about the independent review of the original proposal.  He said that although the reforms general aim of wanting better care for patients was kept, the details and how that is achieved has changed.  Surprisingly the prime minister admitted that they had made mistakes in their proposal, but they had called for the review and they were amending the proposal accordingly.

Similarly to the new aim for the NHS, ours is to meet the individual needs of our customers whatever the purpose and shape of the USB drive.

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Custom USB Flash Drives Flying Off the Shelves

Posted by USB2U on 8th June 2011 | Permalink

Are you looking for an inexpensive but top quality aeroplane then forget Ryanair, Easyjet and Flybe because when it comes to custom USB flash drives the latest little beauty to be unveiled by USB2U is in a class of its own! OK, we accept that you can’t actually fly anywhere in them but they’ll certainly give any marketing campaign a real lift!

Custom USB Plane

Custom USB Plane

Our custom USB planes are made from solid stainless steel so they’re heavy but the combination of their weight and their polished finish gives them are real quality feel. They make great executive gifts and they double up nicely as a paperweight. We can engrave or print them with your logo and of course we can pre-load them with your own data files that could for example include all of your sales brochures, press releases and media files.

Most companies are still buying standard USB flash drives and just getting their brand and/or contact details printed on them which is fine but custom USB flash drives that either represent a product you sell or “dovetail” into your overall marketing campaign create a much greater impact. Custom flash drives simply have more impact they are more memorable they typically create lots of “chatter” that standard flash drives can rarely match.

The lead-time for our USB planes is around 14-days but if you wanted your own custom shape then that’s not a problem. Our in-house design team will work with you to come up with a series of design concepts (rough ideas) that we’ll then ask you to narrow down to one particular design. We’ll then create a physical sample of your flash drive for approval and once you’re happy we’ll move onto full-scale production.

Custom Aeroplane USB Flash Drive

Custom Aeroplane USB Flash Drive

If you opt for your own shape then be prepared to wait a little longer – the typical lead time for a fully customised USB flash drive is around 6 weeks compared to 2 weeks for our USB planes and around 10-days for our standard USB flash drives.

If you’re interested just give us a call on our Freephone number (0800 008 7079) or just fill out our on-line quote form and one of our team will get back to you in a flash!

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