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About as Much Fun as Pulling Teeth – Loading Data onto USB Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 5th October 2015 | Permalink

Millions of promotional USB memory sticks get bought and then get given away every year. Go to any exhibition, show, seminar, conference or university open day and the chances are you’ll get offered at least one USB with a logo printed on the side of it.

Why are they so popular? Well, USB memory sticks, as far as top-end promotional products are concerned are not that expensive (albeit they have a high perceived value), they’re small, they’re easy to carry and they come in a wide range of styles and colours which makes them ideal for branding up with a logo.

The majority of the millions that will be given away in 2015 will have a memory capacity of around between 4GB – 8GB. This is a huge amount of digital storage! It’s about the same as you get on many of the top selling smart phones on the market today. 8GB will support hundreds of thousands of documents, thousands of photos and hundreds of media (video) files.

If you bought a PC a couple of years ago the Hard Disk Drive on the PC would have been smaller (in terms of storage capacity) than that “given away for free!” on a USB stick. Crazy isn’t it but that’s how the digital storage market moves.

The winner from this on-going availability of cheap digital storage in a simple device like a USB stick is the companies that buy them BUT they only benefit if they put the growing storage space to good use.

It’s amazing how many of the millions of promotional USB sticks sold every year are handed out with NO data on them, NADA. ZIP, NOTHING, ZILCH. It’s criminal as a company to buy promotional USB sticks (a product designed specifically to carry data) and not use the memory you have paid for.

One of the primary objectives of giving them away is to build awareness about your organisation, what you do, what your values and what differentiates you from others in your sector. To do this you really should build enough time into your plans to load onto every USB stick documents like your sales brochures, your presentation slides, videos, price lists etc. Load anything that allows you to show off what you’re about and how the recipient of the drive can get in touch with you. Include all your social media links to encourage on-going engagment.

Of course the downside of loading data onto your branded USB memory sticks is actually doing it – it’s the most tedious, mind numbing, soul-destroying job ever! Don’t forget your need to “stop and eject” each USB stick before you can remove them from your PC!

If you have to manually load each and every stick yourself one at a time it will take hours and hours. If you’ve got lots of data (and with 8GB of space you’re likely to) then to load each stick can take 5-10 minutes. So if you’ve got hundreds to do you can end up writing off an evening or two and sometimes a whole weekend!

A much, much better option is to get your USB stick supplier to do the data loading for you. They’ll have the latest state of the art bulk data-loading kit. These machines not only copy lots of USB sticks at the same time but they run algorithms at the end of each run to make sure the data has been copied properly!

Often data-loading will be free but it’s always best to ask but unless you have no social life we’d strongly recommend leaving data-loading of USB memory sticks to the professionals.

USB Data Loading Services from USB2U

USB Data Loading Services from USB2U



Free Data Loading on Promotional USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 5th June 2015 | Permalink

It’s been over 12 years since we first started selling promotional USB memory sticks and the demand for them today is stronger than ever. Other technology based promotional gifts have come and gone during this time but USB sticks have stubbornly clung on.

The reason for their enduring appeal seems to be down to a few key factors; people like them, they’re relatively inexpensive (but have a high perceived value) and more fundamentally they keep giving more for less! By this we mean that today you’ll pay broadly the same for a 8GB USB stick, as you would have done for a 64MB USB stick a decade ago! That’s a huge increase in data storage capacity with no comparative increase cost – no other type of promotional gift (that we can think of) continually offers more in this way.

With branded (USB sticks printed with your logo) 8GB sticks costing less than £2 each (depending on volume and stick type) they really do represent fantastic value. Think about it – 8GB is the standard storage offered on the iPhone C and you can get this for less than £2.

USB Data Loading Services from USB2U

USB Data Loading Services from USB2U

Of course this amount of storage is crying out to be used so when customers buy their promotional flash drives from us we strongly advocate using the memory they are paying for is loaded with whatever promotional material they can digitise and make available. Why, we, it’s a great way to distribute information about your company, your products or your event at very little cost. Compared to the price of printing, transporting and distributing the collateral the benefits and savings are significant.

If you do plan to load data onto your USB memory sticks before you distribute them then you will need to get organised and have your data ready. If you don’t want to go through the pain of loading the data onto the USB sticks yourself then ask us to do it for you. We use our own in-house professional data loading and data duplication equipment to load the data onto your memory sticks and by allowing us to do it we can check the data is loaded correctly on each and every USB stick (The professional data loading kit does this using some clever “checksum” algorithms.

Any style, shape, design or memory size of flash drive can be pre-loaded with data and pretty much any format of data can be loaded. Popular examples of data files that are typically used include; PDF’s, PowerPoint Slides, Excel Spreadsheets, Word Documents, Links to websites and media files.

If you buy your promotional USB memory sticks from us and you are interested in our offer of FREE data loading (T&C’s apply)then just mention this to your Account Manager and they’ll talk you through the options.


Data Loading onto USB Sticks – Boring, Boring, Boring!

Posted by USB2U on 12th November 2014 | Permalink

Someone has to do it but whoever gets the short straw is not going to be happy because there can be fewer more tedious and mind numbingly dull things in life than copying data onto hundreds of promotional USB memory sticks one at a time. Life’s just too short to be wasting it doing this.

Unfortunately if you’re buying USB sticks to giveaway then loading data onto them is just one of the things that has to be done. Given the core product is designed to store and carry data it’s a wasted opportunity if you don’t use the storage available to you to put something onto the sticks before you hand them out. With most promotional USB sticks now being 2GB, 4GB or 8GB there is after all loads of data storage space to play with!

USB Data Loading Machines

USB Data Loading Machines

Obvious candidates to load onto the flash drives are sales brochures, web links, product sheets, press releases, conference notes/slides, and videos. But, remember the more you load onto them the longer it’s going to take to sit and load each one!

Because putting data files onto any flash drive you hand out is a “no brainer” the simple solution is to get the company that supplies you with the USB sticks to load the data onto them for you before they are delivered. Most suppliers will pre-load up to several hundred megabytes of data free of charge – just check before you confirm your order.

If you’re expecting your supplier to do the data-loading for you then you will need to get organised and have your data ready. Don’t expect to be able to just drop the data on them the day before delivery is due because it’s unlikely to get done! Most suppliers will want the data with the order.

Companies that offer a data-loading service will usually use commercial and automatic USB data duplication equipment that costs thousands of pounds. Whilst expensive this kit not only allows them to load the USB stick quickly but they will be able to validate every stick to make sure its ok and they’ll be able to check the data loaded onto them has copied over correctly. These professional data-loading systems are rack mounted, they manage tens or hundreds of USB sticks at a time and the systems can be expanded to meet demand.

At USB2U we have invested in a number of professional data-loading machines which gives us the capacity to load thousands of USB sticks every day. It’s still a tedious job for someone to run these machines but it’s nowhere near as bad as having to load them one at a time on a PC!


Data Loading on USB Flash Drives – An Evil Necessity

Posted by USB2U on 17th January 2014 | Permalink

One of the primary reasons that so many companies are using promotional USB flash drives is because they are looking for a simple, easy and convenient way to distribute lots of information to their customers (or prospective customers). Whether it’s information on new products, pricing, seminar or conference notes, video presentations or any mix of these then USB drives that are pre-loaded with the data are a great solution.

CD’s and DVD’s used to be the preferred option but so few laptops and desktop PC’s now ship with a CD/DVD player that it’s a risk relying on people being able to use these. Arguably with the shift toward tablets (most of which don’t have USB ports) the same issues apply to USB sticks but most people still have a PC or laptop at home or work and all of these will have a USB port.

The other benefit of handing out a USB drives with your data pre-loaded onto them is that flash drives have a high perceived value (much higher than a CD or DVD) and as such people like being given them and that in turns help them to build a bond with any brand printed onto the drive. If you hand out flash drives with spare capacity on (and this is typically always the case) then you’re giving something away that has on-going use after your data has been read. This in turn means your flash drives (with your brand printed on them) will get repeat usage and your brand will get repeat exposure.

USB Data Loading Services from USB2U

USB Data Loading Services from USB2U

The real headache is how you get the data onto the USB flash drives before you hand them out! Often files, video and presentation notes are not ready to load until right at the very last minute and if this means you have to load the data yourself then in could take hours and in some cases days! Transferring 1GB of data from your PC could take 10+ minutes per drive – multiply this by say 500 and you can see the challenge!

By far the best way is to get your promotional USB flash drive supplier to data-load them for you. Typically they will have industrial data loading machines that will bulk transfer the files to multiple drives (each machine usually has a “master slot” and can copy the data to up to 20 USB drives in the same time that you could copy one!).

Most suppliers offer this service free of charge for up to 200MB of data but the charges for larger data loads are only pennies – it’ll be the best money you ever spend. No one in their right minds would voluntarily opt to data load their own USB sticks one at a time on their PC.


Best Way to Send Data for USB Sticks to USB2U

Posted by USB2U on 2nd May 2013 | Permalink

We offer free data loading of 200MB onto all USB memory sticks we supply* so understandably a lot of customers take advantage of this offer – after all they’d be daft not to!

One of the most expensive elements of any USB memory stick is the flash memory and typical promotional USB drives have around 2GB to 4GB memory which gives plenty of scope to large some pretty hefty data files, videos, sales brochures, conference notes, press releases etc. to be pre-loaded onto them before they are handed out.

Loading data onto USB sticks yourself has got to be one of the most mind numbing, tedious and soul destroying jobs there is! Even before you start you need to get your data structured and ready on your PC by creating a “master copy”, then comes the fun task (not) of removing  the USB sticks from their packaging, remove the caps and then inserting them one at a time and copying over the files. At the end of each copy you’ll have to click to “safely remove” the USB stick before you can repeat the process over and over again – data-loading sticks this way can easily burn through hours and hours of time.

Much easier to send the files to us and let us load them using our professional data-loading machines – we can load up to 50 USB sticks at a time.

But, one of the inevitable challenges faced by companies who buy USB sticks from us (particularly those that buy them and need them printed or engraved and data-loaded within a day or two) is how they get the data to us. Our email system, in common with most email systems, won’t accept files much over 20MB so email is not always an option. Even when it looks as though an email has been sent “OK” it can often get blocked (at either end) by overly aggressive anti-virus and filters that use on most corporate email systems.

The safest and easiest way to send the data is to either load a copy onto a USB stick or CD and post it to us or even better (and easier still) is to use a file transfer service like Dropbox, yousendit or even SKYPE. You can open accounts with any of these companies for free and you can typically send many hundreds of megabytes of data without incurring any charges – they’re easy to use and you get confirmation when the data files have been delivered.

If you’re not sure how to set up an account just speak to your account manager and they’ll talk you through the options and guide you through the process.

However you get the data to us please do take advantage of the free data loading offer!

USB Data Transfer Options

USB Data Transfer Options

*free uploads does not apply to our SuperExpress and Express Services where charges may apply.


Does it Make Sense to Pre-load Data onto Promotional USB Flash Drives

Posted by USB2U on 6th July 2012 | Permalink

Demand from schools universities and businesses for promotional USB Flash Drives is still pretty buoyant with overall sales in 2012 on track to outstrip like for like sales in 2011.

Part of the growth is because people are abandoning CD’s and DVD’s in favour of USB flash drives but fundamentally it’s because:

  1. People like being given USB flash drives, they have a high perceived value and unlike CD’s and DVD’s they offer real value to the recipeient.
  2. The price of printed and engraved USB flash drives have Printed and customised USB memory has fallen below £2 per unit (subject to minimum quantities and type)
  3. Flash drives, unlike CD’s and DVD’s tend to be used by the recipient to store and carry their own personal data (after all this is what they are designed for!) and as such the brand that is printed on it gets significantly more exposure.
  4. Postage costs have recently shot up again making the mailing of brochures and catalogues prohibitively expensive. The same brochures can be sent out electronically on a USB flash drive for a fraction of the price.
  5. Rather than printing and shipping hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of glossy brochures to trade shows companies are now finding that it’s easier (and cheaper) to take USB flash drives pre-loaded with their sales collateral. Unlike brochures that have a tendency to fill up the bins just outside of the exhibition halls USB flash drive get kept.

Pre-loading data onto a memory sticks purchased for your school or company makes good commercial sense. The savings made by pre-loading data onto USB sticks rather than printing the equivalent documents can fully offset the cost of the sticks. Build in the costs of transporting and/or storing heavy brochures and the costs benefits get really compelling.

Twister USB Flash Drives

Twister USB Flash Drives

Data loading or duplication, pre-loading, copying or replication is relatively easy to do but it can be time consuming so you need to plan ahead to allow enough time to get the data organised. Don’t try and load the data yourself. Most USB suppliers will offer a free data load up to a certain amount, typically 100MB.

You can “lock” any data that you load onto the USB flash drives which means that it can’t be deleted but it has to be loaded and “locked” during the manufacturing process.

You also need to consider that if you load too much data on the stick and don’t leave enough room for the user then they’re unlikely to use it and your brand won’t get the on-going use and exposure you have paid for.


USB2U Invests to Double its Data Loading Capability

Posted by USB2U on 27th June 2012 | Permalink

USB flash drives continue to be one of the most popular promotional gifts in the market today. Companies, schools and universities buy them in the thousands and give them away to help develop their brand, to raise awareness of who they are and what they do and to encourage customer loyalty. Recipients of them love them because they have a high perceived value, they’re useful, small, portable and really handy.

If you’re buying promotional USB flash drives on behalf of your company and you plan to give them away to customers, prospective customers, students or journalists then you really should be pre-loading them with data before they are handed out. After all, the basic function of a flash drive is to store and carry data and if you’re paying for the USB drives then they should carry your data! Make sure you stuff them with your brochures, your price lists, press releases, videos, website detailsl anything and everything – with an average of 2GB to 8GB to play with you’re going to be able to fit loads onto the average sized promotional USB memory stick.

The downside is that loading data onto USB flash drives is incredibly tedious so whilst it makes sense to do it lots of companies (and universities) are put off pre-loading data because of the challenge of organising people, the files and the time to do it.

USB Data Loading Service

USB Data Loading Service

The simple answer to this conundrum is to let your USB flash drive supplier do the data loading for you. Professional suppliers should not only be able to print and engrave in-house but they should be able to offer you a professional data loading service as well.

USB2U is one of the few suppliers in Europe that holds a significant level of blank stock, has in-house printing, engraving and data loading capability and is able to turn around orders in less than 24hrs.

To bolster its data loading capabilities USB2U has recently invested in additional state of the art data loading equipment and is now able to load between 3,000 – 4,000 USB flash drives every day. So, if you need your USB sticks data loading call the team at USB2U or better still if you are looking to buy USB flash drives printed with your logo and loaded with your data then call USB2U – they offer free data loading (up to 200MB) on every drive you buy from them.


Loading Data onto Promotional USB Sticks Is Boring So Don’t Do It

Posted by USB2U on 13th January 2012 | Permalink

If you’re thinking about buying some promotional USB sticks for your business, perhaps for a forthcoming show, exhibition or event but you’re dreading the prospect of having to load each and every one of them with data files then don’t do it.

Of course you should load them with data (sales brochures, web links, brochures, etc.) but don’t put yourself through the torture of doing it yourself. Get your supplier of the USB sticks to load the data for you before they are delivered. Most suppliers (providing it’s a reasonable amount of data) will pre-load the sticks for you free of charge. OK, you need to be organised and have your data ready and you might have to provide the supplier with the data early but if you can do this it’s so much easier than trying to load them yourself from you PC in the office!!

Pre-loading data onto hundreds or thousands of memory sticks can take hours and in some cases days, depending on the size of the data you are copying. So don’t do it it’s not good for your health or your sanity.

USB Data Loading

USB Data Loading

Companies that offer a data-loading service will usually use commercial and automatic USB data duplication equipment that allows them to load thousands of memory sticks pretty quickly. These professional data-loading systems are rack mounted, they manage tens or hundreds of USB sticks at a time and the systems can be expanded to meet demand.

At USB2U we invested in a number of professional data-loading machines a few years ago and we regularly load data on behalf of our customers. All we need is the data and then we create a “master” USB memory stick which we get approved by the customer and then we replicate the data onto the memory sticks the customer has ordered. Simple, painless and hassle free!

Not only that but, the beauty of the professional data duplication equipment that we use at USB2U is that during the data loading process we test and QA each USB stick again before they are sent to our customers. We can also provide detailed reports on the overall amount of data loaded; the data transfer speeds of the sticks and any failures.

The level of investment in this professional equipment is significant but it allows us to offer a complete solution that includes the supply of branded USB flash drives and accessories, data loading and if needed fulfilment. We can also do all of this quickly often responding to request to print, dataload and ship USB sticks in as little as 24hrs


Should You Data Load Your Promotional USB Flash Drives

Posted by USB2U on 27th May 2011 | Permalink

USB flash drives do an excellent job of promoting a company’s brand, generating brand loyalty and brand recall but you can get much more “bang for your buck” if you pre-load them with data files.

The fundamental function of a USB flash drive is, after all, to store and transport data so it make sense when handing out any promotional USB flash drives to make sure your own data files are pre-loaded onto the USB sticks

USB Data Loading Service

USB Data Loading Service

The type of files you can load onto a USB flash drive can be anything you would normally save onto your PC so the obvious candidates are PowerPoint presentations, PDF’s, Word Documents, media files (video and audio clips) and links to your web site. Pretty much anything that informs prospective customers about your company, your products and the services you offer are ideal.

Pre-loading data files will mean you have to factor this step into your project plan. Data loading can be done during the manufacture of your USB sticks or just prior to delivery so you don’t have to have your finalised files ready when placing your order.

The best option (if you can get organised in time) is to supply the data you want loading so it can be added as your drives are manufactured. This way the data loading is typically free or it’s charged for at a negligible rate (charges depend on the size of the data files to be loaded).

If you want the data pre-loaded a little later in the order cycle, i.e. just before delivery, then be prepared to pay a little more for it because it’s a much more manual process and will typically involve more expensive UK labour.

Given the relatively small incremental cost for data loading you’d be daft not to do it because the more information you can put on the drive about your company, your products or your announcements the less you have to print and the less transportation costs you’ll have for any printed material. So, not only will you save a small fortune on printed material but you’ll make life easier for anyone you’re giving the USB flash drives to because they won’t have to carry around huge sales brochures, presentation files and notes.

If you take advantage of data loading offers it’s possible to build a cost benefit case that shows you can offset all of the costs of buying promotional USB flash drives by pre-loading them with data and reducing your print, storage and transport costs.

At USB2U we are seeing a significant increase in the number of customers now asking for data loading onto their USB flash drives. Fortunately we’re well geared up to handle these requests in our factory during production or at our secure offices/warehouse in Northampton where we have our own professional data loading machines which are capable of handling up to 2,000 USB flash drives an hour.


February Offer – Free Lanyards and Free Data-loading

Posted by USB2U on 1st February 2011 | Permalink

Buy more than 100 branded USB flash drives from USB2U during February and you’ll be entitled to a free coloured lanyard with every flash drive you order and if that’s not good enough to tempt you we’ll also pre-load up to 100MB of files onto your Flash Drives for free as well!

We’ve got loads of different coloured lanyards to choose from so there’s bound to be something to match your logo or brand. Your free pre-loaded files can be anything including PDF brochures, Word documents, PowerPoint slides, Media files or links to you website.

USB2U February Offer

USB2U February Offer

If you want to take advantage of this offer just be sure to mention it to your Account Manager when you confirm your order.

A just a quick word of warning. Whist we hold lots of stock in the UK to enable us to continue to fulfil orders throughout Chinese New Year this stock is disappearing fast so if you want to have some choice in terms of colour and/or memory size then you need to get in touch soon and place your order.

Whilst everything will return to normal around 3 weeks time when our partner factories re-open if you do find yourself in need of USB flash drives in a hurry our perhaps you’ve been let down by another supplier just give us a call and one of our team will talk you through the options.

*Upto 100mb.