For the full USB2U website please visit on a device with a larger screen.
Banner

Is it a Name Badge, a USB Stick or both

Posted by USB2U on 13th July 2015 | Permalink

Are you planning on attending any seminars, training courses, conferences, or shareholder meetings this year? If you are then even if you pre-register on-line (which tends to be the way these days) you’re still going to have to go through some form of registration process when you turn up.

As part of this registration process it’s highly likely that you’ll end up with a name badge of some sort so that you can identify yourself and be indentified by people you meet. In some cases the ID badges also determine your levels of access.

If the event you’re attending is a consumer event with tens of thousands attending then expect a fairly simple paper affair that might possibly have a bar code or QR code printed on it (typically folded and placed in a plastic holder that is then secured by a pin or lanyard).

If however it’s a business event with an invited or paying audience then the name badges tend to be more personalised and they’ll typically carry the branding of the event organiser and any associated sponsors. Again, these are typically worn by attaching them to a lanyard or by using a pin/clip.

In these troubled times with the risk of terrorist threats at a new high the need for badges is pretty obvious – the attendees need to be recognised and equally will want to know who they are talking to. Name badges act as fairly basic security tool and advertising vehicle but their principal purpose is to allow people (and their relative status/position) to be identified easily and quickly.

Most of the badges used are “dumb”, they have no on-board intelligence or memory and whilst some might have bar-codes or QR codes these have to be scanned to gather any information and this information is almost exclusively gathered for the event organisers and not the wearer of the badge.

USB Name Badge

USB Name Badge

There is another alternative and that’s the USB Name Badge. These simple, relatively cheap and incredibly useful USB cards have the potential to turn the conventional name badge market on its head. The reason? Well, for little more than the cost of a conventional personalised badge you can now get a USB name badge with up to 16GB of on-board storage!

The storage capability of these cards (badges) means that every name badge can be pre-loaded with huge amounts of information including conference speakers notes, speakers PowerPoint Slides, training manuals, marketing brochures, links to Social Media sites, competitions etc. Just think of the marketing opportunities these cards (badges) create.

For the delegates all they have to carry home with them at the end of the event is a name badge – no longer will they be weighed down with huge folders filled with papers and brochures.

USB Name Badges are a real “win win” and they look set to shake up the name badge market over the next few years. Available now from USB2U, delivered anywhere!

Share

USB Business Cards – No Comparison to Conventional Business Cards

Posted by USB2U on 17th June 2015 | Permalink

If we could just get past the crisis in Greece the economic outlook would look be looking pretty good. Sentiment seems positive, the numbers are moving in the right direction, the UK election has steadied things for the next few years (although the EU referendum could make for choppy waters) and generally businesses in the UK are making lots of positive noises about the future.

It’s been a tough few years with lots of businesses reigning in their advertising and marketing budgets and whilst the shackles aren’t exactly off there has been a marked loosening of the constraints. Money is now once again being spent on marketing and promotional activities but what has changed over the past few years is how the money is spent. Today the focus is much more about interaction, Social Media, digital delivery and other such buzz words. Companies (arguably led by the need to climb to the top of Google for their respective search terms) are desperate to acquire more “likes”, more consumer reviews and more interactions across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.

But, what do you do if you’re reliant on salespeople who operate in a “face to face” sales environment? How do you equip them with the tools to encourage customers (or prospects) to engage with your business once the salesperson has concluded the meeting and moved on to his next customer?

One option that is getting lots of interest is the USB Business Card. These are the same shape and size as a conventional business cars and they are printed with just the same company logo, contract details and personal information about the giver BUT unlike paper business cards they carry tons of additional digitised content in the flash memory chip embedded in the card. The content stored on the USB business card is accessed by “flipping” out built-in USB connector and simply plugging it into any PC or Mac.

USB Business Card are the same size as a credit card, they are very thin (2mm thick), they can be printed on both sides and they come in a range of different memory sizes (1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB and 16GB) with even the smallest memory size capable of being pre-loaded with all of your corporate brochures, product sheets, pricing lists, website links, media files etc.

USB Business Cards create a bit of buzz when they’re handed out and they’re certainly a great “ice breaker” if that’s what your sales people need. They fulfil all the basic requirements of a standard business card (giving your contact details, title and website address) but they go so much further than this.

USB Business Cards are great because:

  • By loading your brochures electronically onto them you can save a small fortune on print, storage and distribution costs
  • They’re excellent for seminar and conference organisers because all of the speakers notes and slides can be pre-loaded onto them again saving print and collation costs.
  • You create a great reason to pick up the phone and make a follow up call – “did you have a chance to read the brochure on the USB card, watch the video etc.”
  • They’ll create a much stronger and longer lasting impact than a standard business card so you get a much bigger bang for your buck!

USB2U carry stock of the USB cards in the UK and can print and deliver them for you in as little as 24hrs.

USB Business Cards

USB Business Cards

 

Share

USB Card e-books

Posted by USB2U on 24th April 2015 | Permalink

They may only make up a very, very small proportion of e-book sales but if you can get your hands on one they might be worth hanging onto for collector value if nothing else.

To be fair most of the USB Card e-books that we see (or produce and supply) at the moment seem to be used as part of the PR campaign to launch the books. The cards are printed up with the book sleeve and an electronic copy of the book is pre-loaded onto the card before being handed out to reviewers, journalists etc.

Of course the books could be downloaded from the Internet but if you want to distribute copies of the book before the public release date and you don’t want to go to the trouble is setting up secure website with logins and download options etc. then the USB cards are a good way of controlling the books distribution. You can’t stop the book being “uploaded” onto a public sharing site but that’s a risk however you distribute digital copies of anything!

e-books on USB cards

e-books on USB Cards

There is a real novelty factor to e-books being supplied for review this way and if they’re posted out its significantly cheaper to pop a very thin (2mm card) into a standard letter envelope than pay for a package post.

The opportunity for e-books is not just limited to works of fiction. Arguably the concept lends itself better to the supply of complex technical manuals, large product catalogues where significant amounts of data are often needed (much of which could be complimented by videos and presentations).

A classic example was an International TV brackets manufacturer who every year posted out a hard copy of their new brochure and distributor/re-seller prices lists across Europe. Because of the weigh of the catalogue the shipping costs alone were £10 per brochure. They didn’t want to put everything “on-line” preferring instead to send something tangible – moving to a USB Card that was pre-loaded with the catalogue saved them 80% of their costs.

With around 32GB of memory available on some of the larger capacity USB cards the amount of information you can include in an e-book is staggering! The trick to think outside of the box and come up with innovative ways to take full advantage of the flash storage on offer. Don’t worry about the grunt work of loading the data on the USB cards because your USB memory stick supplier will take care of this for you and most won’t charge if you get your data files to them early enough in the order process.

Share

Just like the kids TV classic Play School we use Square, Round & Triangle shapes

Posted by USB2U on 23rd April 2015 | Permalink

If you can remember the opening sequence from the 1960 and 1970’s BBC TV classic Play School (“Here’s a house, here’s a door. Windows: 1 2 3 4, ready to knock? Turn the lock – It’s Play School”) then you’re probably more interested in the latest government changes to pensions schemes than keeping abreast of the changes in the promotional USB memory stick market.

The TV show made great use of the basic shapes like triangles, squares, circles and one key segment of the show asked the children to guess which “window” the they would go through to watch a feature filmed outside of the studio. The underlying premise was to get the children used to recognising and understanding shapes and how they featured in everyday life.

These same shapes feature heavily in the range of USB cards that we offer at USB2U. Whilst the most popular card option remains the credit card shaped USB card we have seen a marked increase in the demand for square, circle and triangle cards!

USB-Cards---Different-Style

USB-Cards—Different-Style

The cards are a popular choice not least because we can print in full colour on both sides of the card and the print can be full bleed right to the edge of the card. Because of this the cards offer a much larger print area to work with meaning complex “photo quality” images can be re-produced with ease.

The different shapes lend themselves to different uses. For examples we’ve printed the squares in to represent food packaging and condom packs, the circles to make them look like classic vinyl records (very cool) and the triangles to look like a piece of chocolate confectionary (Toblerone).

USB Circle Cards - Costa Coffee

USB Circle Cards – Costa Coffee

All of the cards are just 2mm thick (roughly the same thickness as a credit card) and they come with high quality flash memory up to 32GB (which is X4 times the amount of storage you get on most Apple iPhone C’s).

If you opt for the Credit Card shape then we can supply these with a printed leather wallet!

Irrespective of which shape you choose you can be assured they’ll make a great impact when handed out and don’t forget if you do want to pre-load your own files onto the USB shapes before you hand them out then we can take care of the tedious job of data-loading them for you!

 

Share

Play your Promotional Cards Right with a USB Card

Posted by USB2U on 12th January 2015 | Permalink

If you’re looking to give your sales and marketing campaign a bit of a blast in 2015 then you might want to take a look at the range of USB cards that are now available. Unlike traditional promotional USB Flash Drives the cards can be printed in full colour right up to the very edge of the card and because the cards have a bigger print area they can accommodate complex and large designs.

This means instead of being restricted to a simple logo you can print pretty much anything and you can have it produced in glorious colour on both sides of the card. Marketing teams love them because they can mirror other forms of advertising and customers (the recipients) love them because they fit easily in a wallet or purse.

USB Cards

USB Credit Cards Printed with a full colour print

They’re also a little bit unusual and different. Lots of people will already have been given the more traditional drives but very few will have ever seen the card versions so they score highly on the novelty and interest factor straight away.

Although the cards are only 2mm thick they can be supplied with memory sizes ranging from 128MB all the way up to 32GB (64GB versions are expected later in 2015). From a price point of view they are only pennies more than regular USB drives but you get the benefit of the full colour print on both sides.

They come in lots of different shapes as well. The most popular type is the same shape as a standard credit or bank card (simply because it’s a shape we’re all familiar with, it has the largest print area, and it fits comfortably into existing wallets etc.) but they’re also available in the shape of a circle, a triangle a square and a ellipse (a stretched egg shape). All of them are just 2mm thick and all of them can be printed in full colour right up to the edge of the card.

Of course the trick with these USB Cards (just like any other style) is to use the memory capacity you are buying. Don’t just hand them out without anything pre-loaded onto them. Use the memory to load them up with sales collateral, information videos, links to your web pages and social media pages. Anything is better than nothing. Don’t worry about the hassle of having to load the data yourselves. All self-respecting flash drive suppliers should be able to do this for you for free! It’s a “dog eat dog” market at the moment and suppliers are falling over themselves to offer freebies like data-loading just to win your business!

At USB2 we carry lots of blank USB Cards (different shapes) in stock so we can print and deliver them for you in as little as 24hrs.

Share

Don’t Send a Christmas Card – Send a USB Card

Posted by USB2U on 5th December 2014 | Permalink

Will your business be sending Christmas Cards to your customers this year? It’s a long standing tradition for businesses but how many that continue to send them really stand back and evaluate the benefit they get popping a Christmas card in the post every year. After all with postage costs increasing all the time (even for 2nd class mail) it’s not exactly cheap anymore.

Having said that is sending a card really about reinforcing the relationship with your customer, telling that you still appreciate their continued business and hoping that they’ll continue to trade with you or is it merely good manners. If it’s the latter then whilst it’s a noble gesture is it a gesture you can really afford in today’s financial climate – doesn’t every penny of business expenditure need to be fully justified and accounted for. Too much like a Bah Humbug sentiment for you?

USB Cards for Christmas

USB Cards for Christmas

If you one of the tens of thousands of businesses that are going to send a Christmas card to their customers this year (regardless of the cost and regardless of any payback they might deliver) then you might just want to stop and consider for a minute whether you should send a USB card instead. A few years ago this option would have been a non-starter for most but with prices plummeting over the last year you can now get fully branded and personalised USB Cards for about the cost of a regular Christmas card!

The benefits of a USB Christmas Card over the regular type are:

  1. They can be fully personalised with your company brand, logo and message – we can even put a unique message or name on every card for you.
  2. They are only 2mm thick and very light so they can be sent out in a standard sized envelope for minimal cost (lots of cards now attract “large letter” postage charges)
  3. The real value add of a USB Card is that they can be loaded with loads of information about your company, you can put your own personal greeting on the card (video, audio message, PowerPoint message – all sort of things)
  4. Most cards are at least 4GB which means they’ll offer great storage options to the recipient meaning they’ll probably keep and use the card after Christmas is over. So unlike conventional cards that will end up in the bin in early January a USB card is not necessarily for life but it will have a life and use well after the festive season is over.

It’s not too late to order these for this year – at USB2U we carry thousands in stock and we can print and deliver in as little as 24hrs. We can even management the fulfilment for you as well if you want.

Share

Stick it on a USB Credit Card – It’s the best solution

Posted by USB2U on 11th August 2014 | Permalink

No, we’re not advocating the use of credit cards to fund your business growth although we do know a number of business owners that started out this way and now run hugely successful and multi-million pound turnover businesses. Not for the faint hearted.

Rather we are suggesting that if you are looking to buy promotional USB memory sticks but you’ve got a large image, logo or perhaps a great photo that you want printing on the USB’s then you’re going to struggle with the limited print area on most “standard” USB memory sticks. A much better option is to use a USB Credit Card.

USB Credit cards are relatively new but they’ve very quickly become a firm favourite because:

  1. They’re a shape we’re all familiar with and as such we all have wallets, purses, bags etc. to carry them in
  2. The latest versions are only 2mm thick so they are only marginally thicker than a standard bank issued card!
  3. They come in a wide range of memory sizes all the way up to a whopping 32GB
  4. They can be printed in full colour (with the full image bleed to the edge of the card) on both sides
  5. They are held in stock in the UK so they can be printed, data-loaded and delivered in as little as 24hrs!
USB Credit Cards

USB Credit Cards

Obviously the key point of differentiation with these cards is the print area – as you can see from these examples we can produce stunning results on our USB cards. All we need is for you to supply us with the artwork and our print and design team will take care of the rest. Nothing gets printed until you are happy so we’ll take you through a formal mock-up, sample and approval process before we start the mass production of your cards.

It’s the same with any data you want loading – ideally email us the file of or simply send it to us via a service like DropBox. We’ll them arrange to create a “USB Master”, we’ll test this and then send you screen shots of the data for your approval. Data-loading up to 300MB is free* (*there is a small charge if you want your USB Cards and data on any of our rush service options – your Account Manager can advise).

For anyone that was around in the 80’s we like to think of these cards along the same lines as the old Access Credit Cards – Your Flexible Friend! (lost on anyone under the age of 40 – doesn’t time fly)

Share

Pick a Card, Any Card, Any Card at All

Posted by USB2U on 4th July 2014 | Permalink

No, this is not a reference to a playing card trick where you get scammed or by a magician who’s been learning his craft for many years but instead it’s a reference to the wide range of promotional USB cards that are now available.

Until a couple of year ago most USB drives were pretty simple rectangular shaped pieces of plastic/metal. Yes there were variations between them but broadly speaking they all were all the same sort of shape and style with USB sticks like the capless “twister” being the most popular.

The problem with these rectangular “sticks” is that they offer very little print area to work with. They’re fine for printing a simple logo and strapline on but for larger and more complex images things start to get tricky – there just isn’t enough room on standard USB sticks for some images.

A couple of years ago the first USB Cards were launched and whilst these dealt with the challenge of printing large images they were pretty “clunky”. They were the same shape as a credit card but much, much thicker and the mechanism to access and use the USB connector was not brilliant and in regular use was prone to failure.

Today we’re able to use UDP flash memory components which are much thinner than traditional COB (Chip on Board) components and this has transformed the range of USB models and designs that are available. They’ve had the greatest impact on USB Cards with the typical thickness of a USB card now reduced to just 2mm!

USB-Cards---Different-Style

USB-Cards---Different-Style

The net effect of this is that we are now able to offer a wide range of card shapes (triangles, circles, squares, rectangles and credit cards) and they can all be printed in full and glorious colour on both sides of the card with a full bleed of the image right up to the edge of the card! So if you have some amazing images and you want them to be used on your promotional USB memory sticks you now have plenty of options.

USB-Credit-Cards

USB-Credit-Cards

As you can see from these examples certain company brands lend themselves really well to a particular shape of card but the default option tends to be the credit card shape as much as anything because it’s a shape we’re all familiar with and we all have wallets and purses to keep them in!

USB_Card_Circle_Interflora_05-2

USB_Card_Circle_Interflora_05-2

Share

New USB Cards for 2014 – Flip, Slide and Pop-Out

Posted by USB2U on 24th June 2014 | Permalink

If you’re looking to buy printed USB credit cards (or USB business cards) then you’re spoilt for choice because with the addition of our p@per USB cards we now have three different types for you to select from.

They’re all the same size as a standard bank card, they’re all incredibly thin with the p@per version being the thickness of a piece of card and they can all be printed in full colour (with full colour bleed to the edge of the card) on both sides. They come in memory sizes ranging from a relatively small 128MB to a whopping 32GB so there is an option for everyone and every eventuality.

USB P@per Cards from USB2U

USB P@per Cards from USB2U

The main difference between the three cards is how you access the USB connector and the data stored on it. On the p@per cards you “pop-out” the USB flash stick – it can be pushed back into the card for safekeeping after it’s been used. With the “Flip” version you apply a small amount of pressure to one side of the card and the USB connector “flips” out of the other side and the Slider pretty much “does what it says on the tin” – the mini USB flash drive slides in and out of the card shaped host.

The Flip and Slide USB Cards are manufactured entirely from plastic (they’re around 2mm thick) but the P@per USB card is typically made from a robust paper card with the USB plastic connector and “host socket” being made from plastic (see the images to get a better idea).

Slide USB Cards from USB2U

Slide USB Cards from USB2U

Because the cards are a form factor that we use in everyday life we all we all have a way of carrying them around (wallets, purses etc.) so they’re a really handy shape. In the credit card industry they talk about “share of wallet” which is a reference to getting your brand/card in someone’s wallet. Arguably it’s the same with these USB Cards. If you can make the card appealing and attractive enough (not just with a flash design but with lots of spare storage capacity for the recipient to use for their own data) then whatever brand is printed on the card is going to get some powerful “share of wallet”.

At UBS2U we carry thousands of the flip and slide USB Cards in stock ready for same day print (for customers that like to leave things right until the last minute) so leads times are rarely ever an issue! For the P@per cards the lead times are around 7-10 days. Always best to call us to discuss your requirements and we can advise accordingly.

Flip USB Cards from USB2U

Flip USB Cards from USB2U

Share

USB Promotional Cards – Drive More Sales

Posted by USB2U on 20th June 2014 | Permalink

Even today when we are immersed in social media and blitzed my marketing emails there is still a place for a well designed and well targeted print campaign. Often though the objective of any printed material is just to entice or encourage the reader to go to a web site and either buy something, read something or watch something so the challenge is how to “engage” with the reader and make sure they do this.

There are several options to achieve this the most basic of which is to print the details of the website on the printed material and hope the reader finds it and types it in correctly to their browser. A step up from this is to include a QR code on the brochure or leaflet – when scanned with a QR code reader on a smart phone or tablet this will take the customer directly to your web page(s). This is a reasonably popular option with marketers but for lots of people they have no idea what a QR code is, how to use is and many won’t have a QR code reader installed on their phone or tablet.

There is a third way and whilst it’s new it is beginning to gain some momentum. This new “third way” to embed a removable USB “key” into the printed material (see image below). The USB card simply “pops” out and when inserted into any USB port on a PC or Mac will automatically open the users browser and go directly to the landing page pre-programmed into the web key.

Promotional-P@per-USB-Cards

Promotional-P@per-USB-Cards

Unlike a QR code a Web Key (that looks like a USB stick) arouses interest and almost universally people that are given one of these packs will succumb to the temptation and plug the USB Key in. Your challenge is to make sure the webpage they are taken to is compelling, has offers and deals that encourage them to stay on the pages and ultimately to complete whatever transaction you are trying to conclude.

Do this and do it well and you should see something like a 40% uplift in your messages impact! So taken by this product were the judges of European Promotional Products Industry that they awarded it with their Promotional Gift Award in 2013.

The P@per USB Cards have been designed by Paris based Pixika and are now available in the UK exclusively from USB2U. At USB2U we can take care of the printed material, the USB web keys, the pre-loading of the links and we can even offer you a comprehensive conversion/tracking solution.

Share