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USB2U News

Apple Get Creative with Branded USB Flash Drives

Posted by USB2U on 17th September 2011 | Permalink

Since we have been selling branded USB flash drives we have been interested in the various ways that companies use their USB memory sticks. There is the obvious data transfer for employees, or purely as a promotional give-away but we have also seen companies use them as digital housing brochures, to put QR codes on, to store wedding photos and 3-D and 4-D baby scans.  We are continually thinking of ways that companies could use flash drives, for example a recent article (Augmented Reality Promotional Flash Drives) explained how companies could use them for augmented reality marketing.  We think that the uses for branded memory sticks are endless, and it would seem that Apple agree.

Apple Lion Operating System USB FLash Drive

Apple Lion Operating System USB FLash Drive

With the launch of Apple’s new operating system – Lion OS X – it can be downloaded on the app store for £20.99 or it can be purchased, also from the app store, on a USB flash drive for £55.  Apple have not released the memory size of the flash drive but since the size of the downloadable file online is 3.49GB it can be assumed that the flash drive will be 4GB.  Understanding that Apple are charging only £20.99 for the operating system means that they are charging a £34.01 premium for the Apple branded USB flash drive.  Our sister company USBnow.co.uk charge only £6.45 for a 4GB USB flash drive so taking that into account Apple are charging an amazing £27.56 for the branding on the memory stick.  This is actually quite unsurprising when you look at the cost of all of Apple’s other accessories.

Looking at the figures above and being the ‘tight wads’ that we are, I’m sure you are asking yourselves just as much as we are; ‘Why would anyone buy the Apple OS on the flash drive?’  Apple have said that they are offering the operating system on a flash drive for those who do not have a good broadband connection.  ‘Who doesn’t have a broadband connection?’ you might ask.  Well, when you consider that the OS is a pretty big 3.49GB which could take a painfully long time on some people’s internet connection and some people do have a monthly cap on the amount of data they can download.  If your connection is pretty unreliable you also might not want to risk loosing connection whilst downloading such an important file.

There is always the argument that those who want the newest Apple operating system should be savvy and techy enough to have a pretty good internet connection but, when the above points are put into context it hopefully sheds a little more understanding on why Apple are using branded memory sticks to update an operating system.

We believe that this is an excellent use for logo USB memory sticks and hope to see more inventive and creative applications for them in the future.  To see our promotional USB flash drive product range and develop your creativity visit the ‘show all’ product page.


See Your Data With the USB Flash Bag

Posted by USB2U on 31st August 2011 | Permalink

Like any company trying to be efficient and pro-active as possible we like to keep on top of the industry news. Some news is important and will impact business quite a lot. For example, in the promotional USB memory stick industry the price of flash drives is very volatile and can largely affect the price of the memory sticks.  Other news such as advances in the largest size of flash memory put into a USB pen drive is less likely to have an immediate impact on business.

The USB flash drives is a product that is played with quite a bit by professional and amateur designers and engineers so it is very interesting to see the new uses and aesthetics of new prototypes or concepts.  Our newest find is called the ‘USB Flash Bag’ by designer Mac Funamizu and allows the user to see the data saved onto the small USB memory stick.  Lights underneath the glass shell shows the user how much capacity the drive has used and how much is left, different colours are assigned to a different file type so you can see how much data saved is videos, documents, photos, music etc.  The USB flash drive will also show use the lights to represent the data moving from the computer to the flash drive as it transfers and settles in place.  There is also a cylinder and donut or pie chart design for the drives that would serve the same purpose.

glass USb stick

USB Flash Bag

This is a very innovative design for a USB memory stick however; we are not sure how well it would serve as a branded USB flash drive.  Unless the lights could be programmed to show a company’s logo, which would cost a pretty penny, there is not much space on the drive to brand it.  Unfortunately many of the new designs and concepts of USB flash drives are not ideal for the promotional USB memory stick industry.

We understand that most of our customers are looking for something and impressive drive branded with their logo that will make an impact when it is given to prospective customers or existing clients.  For this reason we carefully select the products most relevant for the purpose.

If a little more impact than a logo USB flash drive is needed the ‘USB Flash Bag’ could be given to customers instead.  However, we offer a Custom USB Memory stick service, which is something a little more useful and unique than the flash bag.  The shape, colours, material and memory size can all be customised to suit the needs of the company and make the necessary impact.  Go on! Give our professional in-house design team the chance to add to the creative USB memory stick designs.


Can you Run Files Automatically from a Flash Drive

Posted by USB2U on 12th March 2010 | Permalink

For many companies an investment in branded flash drives for a promotional purpose is OK in so far as it goes. The benefits of getting your logo or brand printed on a memory stick and then giving them away are, after all, well known but does it make sense to give them away without making use of the data storage capacity inherent in a memory stick?

USB Dataload

More and more companies are pre-loading data on their promotional sticks because it’s a great way to easily and cheaply distribute large amounts of sales material and media files. Lets face it if you’ve purchased memory sticks as a give-away it makes no sense to also print, transport and distribute loads of sales brochures, press releases, copies of slides etc. Load them onto the memory stick.. Pre-loading data makes economic and environmental sense and the more you load onto the stick the better the cost benefit case to purchase the memory stick will be.

USB Dataload

Pre-loading data does call for you to be organised. The cheapest way to get the data loaded onto the stick is during the manufacturing process but this means your data will need to be ready around the time your place your order with your supplier. If you can’t get your data ready in time (and sometimes you’re going to be reliant on 3rd parties, particularly if you’re pre-loading speaker notes for a conference) then don’t despair. It is possible to pre-load the data after manufacture just expect to pay a little more for it to be done.

The maximum amount of data you pre-load is limited by the amount of storage space on the memory sticks you’re buying. So if you are buying 1GB sticks you could load up to around 950MB of data. You won’t have access to the full 1GB because memory sticks need some space to create the file structures and data tables for the data you’re loading.

There are also practical considerations to consider as well including how you get the data to your supplier and you supplier gets the data to their factory in China. Small files can be emailed or FTP’d but very large files may need to be supplied on a CD or DVD and then sent by carrier to the factory. This adds to the time you need to allow for branded memory sticks to be produced

USB File Types

Something else to consider is whether any of the files you pre-load onto the sticks should run automatically when the USB stick used. This can be a great way of launching an application, presentation slides or movie files. It really will ensure that the user of the flash drive not only sees, but also is forced to interact with your content. Before you commit to the use of auto run files there are some important things to consider:

  1. Autorun files have to be loaded onto the memory sticks during the manufacturing process.
  2. Autorun files cannot be deleted by the user.
  3. Autorun files can be considered “intrusive” and “annoying” because they get in the way of the general day-to-day use of the memory stick. Remember they the autorun application will have to load and launch every time the stick is used and this can put people off using the memory stick to save and carry their own data on.
  4. If used on company network the autorun might not work because some companies don’t allow autorun files (executables) to run on PC’s attached to their network.
  5. If an autorun file is only suitable for Win PC’s (XP, VISTA, Seven etc.) then  the content may not run on a Mac – thorough testing is advised.

So in summary, branded memory sticks are a great promotional product, pre-loading data on the stick is an excellent and cost effective idea and in some circumstance autoruns add value but use them sparingly and be aware of the potential issues


Promotional Products for Trade Shows and Fairs

Posted by USB2U on 8th March 2010 | Permalink

If you’re one of the thousands of companies this year that will be exhibiting at a trade show then at some point you’ll no doubt be considering whether you should invest in promotional products to support your sales team at the show.

Exhibiting at a trade show is typically a pretty large investment in terms of money, time and manpower and as such it’s critical that this commitment is fully optimised. Whilst lots of energy tends to get put into the location of the stand in the exhibition hall, the stand design, the lighting of the stand and who’s going to staff the stand sometimes the little, but nevertheless important, things like giveaways and collateral for the show tend to get overlooked.

USB Credit Card

Whilst an exciting and innovative promotional tool or giveaway designed to draw people to the stand won’t make or break a show it will certainly help to maximise your investment. When you’re competing for the attention of potential customers against hundreds of other exhibitors its key that you equip you sales team with all the tools they need and a giveaway that pulls people into the stand works.

Your challenge is to decide what’s the best product for you and for your target audience. What really is going to deliver the greatest footfall onto your stand and what’s going to get your product and company to stand out from all the others that will be visited during the show?  After all we all know that at the end of most shows the attendees leave with tired legs, heavy hearts and laden down with carrier bags full of brochures and leaflets.  What you have to do during the show is “wow” them, ideally secure an order but failing that get them interested enough so that when they are back at home or work they recall your company and follow up with an enquiry.

Cebit USB

There are lots of inexpensive giveaways that work on one level like printed bags which double as a “walking advert” for your brand or printed usb pens, which cost pennies. There are even sweets that can be printed with your brand and help get people to approach your stand. The problem with these is that they are either eaten at the event or thrown away after the event! With all of these simple ideas there is very little carry through post the event, there is no incentive to use them on an on-going basis and they don’t deliver much information about you’re company or products.

One product that is growing in popularity for use at tradeshows is the promotional USB flash drive. Whilst flash drives might initially seem too expensive to use a “giveaway” bear in mind that if you pre-load all of your sales material onto the promotional flash drive you can reduce significantly your brochure print costs and your storage and transportation costs. Because you can load data onto the flash drives right up to the start of the show (and even during the show if you wish) you can be much more flexible in terms of what brochures and data you take with you to the show. More fundamentally people like to be given memory sticks and they will keep them and use them after the show.

Wooden Twister USB

The on-going use of a printed usb flash drive means after the show means your brand will continue to get exposed and your sales material will be there every time the flash drive is inserted into a PC.  So, in terms of drawing prospects to your stand and delivering sales leads to your company branded flash drives deliver.


Looking For Inspiration – Consider Promotional USB Flash Drives

Posted by USB2U on 18th February 2010 | Permalink

Lets face it; if you’ve been tasked with coming up with a promotional giveaway for a forthcoming event, campaign or conference it’s never easy. After all trying to come up with something a little bit different that is relevant to the audience and more importantly is within budget can be a chore.

If the items in question have also got to be transported to the event then size and weight might also be an issue or at least something you need to consider. This is particularly true if the event is overseas where shipping costs might well exceed the actual cost of the items and then of course there is VAT and Duty to consider at the point of entry into the country – no one said it would be easy!

Promotional USB

If you’ve already exhausted the old favourites like printed pens, T-shirts, key rings, cups and mugs etc. then you’re task will be all the harder. Whilst these great favourites are good options you might consider printed USB flash drives.

Printed USB flash drives (also sometimes referred to as memory sticks or USB Pens) not only look fantastic when printed up with a company logo but they are incredibly popular with the recipients because they really are very useful and handy things to have.

Flash drives are available in a wide range of styles and memory sizes so you’re bound to find something to suit your taste and budget. If you want to go the extra mile you could even commission a fully bespoke flash drive that is manufactured in 3-D shape to reflect your company’s products. Just remember if you do go down the custom route to allow yourself a little longer when placing the order.

Promotional USB

One of the beauties of a printed USB flash drive is their compact size. Typically they will come “bulk supplied” so there is no excessive packaging to worry about. They are also incredibly light so if you do have to take them to an event venue you’re not looking at a huge logistics operation.

To really get the best value from a promotional USB flash drive you can pre-load them with your sales data sheets, price lists, web links and media files. If you’re really organised these files can be loaded for you by the factory during the manufacturing process. The cost of doing this is tiny and in some cases free but it does rely on you having the information and files ready when you place the order.

There are lots of companies now supplying promotional memory sticks so shop around to get the best deal but do buy from a reputable supplier with a proven track record because its all too easy to buy cheap/cheerful versions that are not quite what they seem and will have a high failure rate.


Promotional USB Flash Drive Can Give You The Edge

Posted by USB2U on 1st September 2009 | Permalink

So many promotional products fail to do the job they are designed to do by being of no value or benefit to the potential customer or end user. To understand this you only have to place yourself into the position of the customer who receives the promotional good. If you were offered something that has no benefit or value to you, you would receive it gratefully but you would not keep it in a prominent position. This means that it would not be in a position to remind you of who gave it to you and the intended purpose would be lost. This makes it essential to offer a product that the customer will use on a regular basis and a promotional usb flash drive may be just the thing to stick in a customer’s memory.

The great thing about the modern range of promotional usb flash drive products is that they can be tailored to your every need in order to maximise the benefit from using the product. For example, if a company specialises in wood supplies, why not offer usb stick made from wood. The traditional type of usb flash drive will be plastic and rather plain but the advances in technology means that the container for the drive can come in all different sizes and from all different materials. The limit on what can be used for a flash drive is probably only bound by imagination but there are obvious budgetary and usefulness constraints placed upon this type of product. It may cost a bit more to utilise the promotional element of the flash drive but it has to be questioned if the cost effective element is then worth it. Many firms would be happier to pay a higher price for a promotional tool if it guaranteed that they would have a better chance of being recognised by a firm and hopefully earning more business.

Credit Card USB

In the current economic climate, it is important for a firm to do everything that they can to gain an edge over their rivals and this is exactly what a promotional usb flash drive can do. The effectiveness of this product would pay for itself in no time at all and would help to mark out the firm as one of innovative thinking and embracing new ideas. Sometimes the additional image benefits of these promotional tasks are as important as the actual promotional work itself and this is certainly an area where this product will assist with.

If you have not considered if a promotional usb flash drive is right for you and your promotional needs, perhaps it is time to give it some thought. As more and more firms become comfortable with the digital age, providing catalogues and brochures in an electronic format is more attractive and a lot more environmentally friendly. This means that you can be seen as a firm who is pushing all the right boundaries by embracing the advantages offered by using a promotional usb flash drive product.


Promotional USB Flash Products Can Place You In Front

Posted by USB2U on 21st August 2009 | Permalink

If you want to have an impact with your promotional goods, you need to be able to offer a good or product that will be used regularly enough. This is because a greater degree of benefit will arise when your logo or name is continually seen by the company or employee that you gave the promotional gift to. With so many rival firms competing for attention, having the gift or promotional tool that makes you stand out from everyone else is priceless and would pay for itself in no time at all. This is why a promotional usb flash product could be the difference between you and your rivals.

No matter what colour is associated with your firm, it will be possible to find a promotional usb flash to match your corporate branding. The importance of having a cohesive image is one that is extremely important to a firm as this will make it much easier for a firm or potential customer to remember you. Using the right sort of usb flash or promotional item will reinforce your image in the mind of a customer and could place your company at the forefront of any decision they will make in the future. Given the current economic crisis that is affecting so many people around the world, it has never been more important to do everything that you can to improve your companies fortunes. Again, it is important to remember that if you don’t do it, your rivals may well do this and they will get the opportunity to make the sales that you are missing out on.

One of the other benefits that comes with using promotional usb flash technology as a gift to other firms is that it is possible to preload the flash drive. This means that you can include details about your firm and your products or services for the recipient to view at their own leisure. This will give you a greater chance of making an impact upon them and it should ensure they will always be able to examine your product details and will have your contact details at close hand. This form of promotional activity is extremely clever and goes a long way towards creating a relationship between the two firms. Given the current economic climate, anything which can be done to make the bonds between a supplier and buyer stronger should be encouraged.

Anything that you can do to sell yourself and make your firm more attractive to potential customers is well worth considering and promotional usb flash products are a little bit different. The fact that they offer fashion and functionality should make them the ideal product to use these days and by offering them to other people and firms, you will be doing everything you can to promote your firm. Every time your potential customer goes to use their promotional usb flash drive, they will remember where they received it from and you may be rewarded with future sales and business in the months and years ahead.


Promotional USB Sticks Have Evolved.

Posted by USB2U on | Permalink

The standard USB stick has been around for years and it is fair to say there is a common look and feel to these products but there are some new formats of USB stick available. These are a massive step on from the traditional format and will make a huge difference to the way the product looks and feels. If you want to stand out in a customers mind, providing a unique twist on the promotional USB sticks format, with your name or logo emblazoned across it will go a long way to doing so. If you have any awareness about marketing, you will know that innovation and individualism can go a very long way to helping you stand out from your peers. It may not sound like much but having the smallest edge over your competitors can be enough to make a massive difference with regards to sales and promotional work.

It may be that the promotional USB sticks are required to contain information and content about the company but this is no problem at all as content is able to be pre-loaded onto the cards. This can greatly help a firm spread the word about their products and will make it easier for potential customers to have all the relevant details to hand. Using this form of promotion should enable companies to allow their customers to be more informed about what they can do, which will hopefully translate into a greater number of sales in the long term. Anything which can promote a long-term business relationship in this day and age has to be worth considering for a company.

The only thing limiting the style of USB sticks these days are budget and imagination. This is due to the vast array of new styles, designs and concepts that are being used for USB sticks and this inevitably filters into the promotional USB sticks market. The quirkiness of these new styles and designs lends them perfectly to the promotional world and should really help firms and businesses spread the word about them. It used to be that colours would be the most eye catching element of a product but with leather and wood being just two of the fabric choices available for the modern range of USB sticks, the sky is the limit. This has extended to different designs like credit card shapes holding the USB stick or wristbands all of which will help the owner stand out from the crowd.

promotional USB sticks have rapidly changed over the past year or two and if you previously considered them but thought against the decision, perhaps it is time to reconsider. No matter what you are trying to promote, having your name, logo or mission statement incorporated onto promotional USB sticks will act as a great marketing tool for you and your needs. Ensuring you reach as many people as possible is hugely important and this simple yet hugely effective marketing tool enable any company or business to get ahead in a difficult market.


Promotional USB Stick Can Make You The Company Of Choice

Posted by USB2U on 13th August 2009 | Permalink

With so many companies doing their best to grab the attention of potential customers, it has never been more difficult for a firm to get their promotional message across but there are always new and quirky ways to do so. Some firms who have large budgets may employ a marketing company to provide them with a concept for improving their image but that is not the sort of option that is open to everyone. It is possible to find ways that you can promote your company and ensure your name is on every desk that you want but you may have to be a little bit creative. Think about the sort of product that you use a lot in the office and try to imagine what would be of benefit to you.

Many businesses are now using usb sticks to store and pass their information and data between their staff members so you can imagine that a promotional usb stick would be of benefit to a great number of firms. Many of the promotional products that are sent to firms look great but have no real purpose which means they are probably stored away in a desk or unseen cupboard. This is frustrating as it would defeat the purpose of sending out the promotional product in the first place but using a product that is in demand can see the benefits rise greatly. A firm who receives a promotional usb stick with a company’s logo or contact details branded upon it may think that the firm is in touch with their needs.

They will likely look upon them in a more favourable manner which could make all the difference when decisions are made regarding future sales and contracts. Considering the current economic climate, it is hugely important for all firms to do the very best they can to increase sales and revenue and the promotional usb stick is a very useful way of increasing brand awareness amongst potential customers. Another benefit of using a promotional usb stick can come when working with a firm who undertake a great deal of work with the supplying company. It may well be that a pre-branded usb stick would be the obvious choice of storage system to record the work and data that is relevant to the relationship between the two firms.

Being able to have all this information in the one place and conveniently stored somewhere with that firms logo on it should make it easier to be retrieved when it is needed. This should bring benefits to both parties and help to ensure that the working relationship goes very well without any hitches. With so many different promotional tools and activities available it can be very hard to find the one that is right for you and for the parties you are trying to impress but there is no doubt that the benefits that arise from using a promotional usb stick are very apparent and should see any firm being placed in a better light. At a time when gaining any competitive advantage is of the upmost importance, this may be the factor that places you ahead of any rival firms.


Promotional USB Memory and Data Integrity

Posted by USB2U on 5th August 2009 | Permalink

While flash memory has revolutionized business communications, promotional USB memory, when used to share data and important or even confidential information, requires a bit of foresight before a company decides to distribute a whole series of flash drives to end users.

A few extra steps may be required to ensure files that are pre-loaded remain secure and, if extra space for storing files is provided, that the flash drive remains useful to the widest possible audience.

Let’s say, for instance, that your company wants to distribute a product catalogue or an annual report to a select group of retailers that your firm normally does business with. To reduce the cost of printing hard copies and distributing them by mail, you decide to generate a bulk order of promotional USB memory sticks for easy reference within your sales network.

How do you ensure that this competitive information doesn’t end up in the wrong hands? The first step is to distribute these memory sticks only to authorized representatives that will have likely filed non-disclosure agreements with your company in advance. This ensures a measure of control over who has the information and how it is utilized.

The second step to protecting proprietary information is to encrypt or restrict the use of the files themselves. A distributor can pre-load data files with read-only access or include password protection that requires a user to enter a password to open the file. Strong encryption technology can delete files completely after a finite number of unsuccessful attempts to open a file.

In this way, marketing agreements between retailers and manufacturers, policies and procedures, and confidential data are protected and the risk of unauthorized access by competitors is minimized. If files are accidentally deleted or a flash drive malfunctions, a control group could retrieve the memory stick before replacing it.

These measures apply most in institutions where information is most specific and ultimately valuable, like government, non-profit, and civic organizations, universities, large corporations, and private interest groups.

promotional USB memory sticks distributed to employees or managers of these entities are not just handy tools for sharing information, but are company-owned assets that are subject to accountability and proper use, especially among principals with some measure of authority and cultural or professional influence.

Another factor in relation to data integrity and promotional USB memory is the issue of compatibility. In some cases, older computers will have problems running pre-loaded movies or applications that are native to newer operating systems like Windows Vista and Windows 7.

In addition, security firewalls designed by IT groups to protect corporate networks may prevent auto run capabilities for audio and video files or certain file types that could be used to spread computer viruses.

A corporation or an LLC, then, has important challenges with regard to IT security and data integrity. When designing and ordering promotional USB memory sticks, these firms must develop acceptable use policies, limit access to computers with USB drives, and keep antivirus software programs up-to-date to protect their company’s interests and ensure successful transactions when sharing information.