Posted by USB2U on 18th July 2017 | Permalink
The practice of universities operating an ‘open day’ has become very common over the last decade or so. Many institutions recognise it as an important contributor in helping prospective undergraduates decide on where their futures ultimately lie. A great deal of planning is therefore required to ensure that the initial impression given at each event is one that helps to ultimately contribute positively towards a student’s decision.
In general, many open days follow a typical format in allowing people to explore the campuses; find out more information about the courses on offer and also give an impression as to the overall university experience. The thing that essentially differs between institutions is the content on offer, and how it is delivered to each individual who visits, this is especially the case when looking at the physical marketing elements such as welcome packs and guides, which are commonly given out to each student at the start of the day.
The Challenge for Open Days
The challenge arises within universities in being able to provide relevant and bespoke material to each student whilst also being able to stand out from competition and remain cost effective. In most cases it’s unlikely a university will have the time or the resources to produce packs catered for each individuals need’s, therefore the question must be asked as to whether alternative methods of producing content which remains engaging and informative are available. One way this can be accomplished is by uploading more specific/comprehensive information onto a USB Flash Drive while keeping the welcome booklet as a general guide.
USB sticks and USB cards make great handouts for any student as they can hold considerably more data in a variety of different formats. As well, such devices encourage people to go away and find out more about the university beyond their initial visit. Compared to welcome guides they remain relatively cost effective to produce; are considerably more portable and can also be branded onto to stand out.
Upload more information to a more portable format
How can Universities use USB’s for Open Days?
There are many different ways USB’s can be used to help improve the overall impression left on students during open days. The most effective of these would be to upload information onto them that is relevant while also detailing the various aspects of their potential experience, whether that be through course guides; accommodation, sports clubs and societies, info about getting around the local area or even tips as to what students can do in their spare time!
As with any other business, the objective for a university should be to try and communicate the salient qualities it possesses to any prospective investor, therefore content developed to capture the interest of students and help give them all the information they require will no doubt reinforce their decision making.
Overall picking a university these days is not a simple process. Often the choice to go doesn’t necessarily come down to the course or institution itself, but a variety of different factors pertaining to the individual, thus it becomes important for institutions to try and capture prospective students with content that is relevant whilst also capturing their interest.
USB Products make a great alternative for communicating engaging content to prospective students.
Posted by USB2U on 9th October 2015 | Permalink
At just a little over 2mm thick the latest generation of USB credit card flash drives are one of the must have promotional products of 2015. They’re only marginally thicker than a standard credit card and squeezed into this incredibly thin card is a flash memory module, a controller chip (the brains the makes the flash drive work) and a capacitor that regulates the power usage.
There is of course also a standard USB connector that means that you can plug the USB card into any device that has a standard USB port.
Making something this small, this stylish and this desirable is the sort of trick we’ve seen laptop and tablet manufacturers perform over the last couple of years. But in contrast these wafer thin credit card USB flash drives only cost a few pounds (prices start as low as £1.99!) and if you get them printed you’re your logo they can create a real “wow”.
Don’t think for a minute that by choosing a USB credit card to be branded with your company logo that you sacrifice speed and performance when compared to a standard USB memory stick. These wafer style USB cards are available from 128MB all the way up to 32GB so there is load and loads of space on them and whilst they’re not USB 3.0 they are nevertheless pretty damn fast!
As a promotional product these cards have a massive advantage over the more traditionally shaped USB sticks because they give you a much larger print area to work with. You can print on them in full colour, on both sides and with full bleed (right to the very edge of the card). The printing is done to “photo standard” and as a result, providing you choose the right artwork, the finished results (as you can see from these examples) look stunning.
Given that most people already have a wallet or purse designed to carry credit cards these USB cards will slip right into any existing wallet or we can supply them with their own little leather wallet that we can also brand for you!
It’s also worth remembering that with postal costs rising the USB Card is the best option if you’re going to post your USB sticks out to your customers. They are thin enough to slip into a standard envelope and be posted using “Letter Post: rather than “Packet Post”. This is a significant benefit and these cost savings alone are typically much more than any premium you might pay for a credit card USB flash drive compared to any of the standard models.
Wafer USB Cards
Posted by USB2U on 26th August 2015 | Permalink
Next year the Credit Card that today we take for granted will mark its 50th birthday! It was Visa that launched the first general-purpose credit card back in 1966 and whilst the take up was initially sluggish today there are several billion credit cards in issue around the world!
Over course over the last 50 years there we have seen huge developments in the underlying accounts associated with these cards and the cards themselves have evolved from basic magnetic stripe cards with an embossed name on to a much more sophisticated product that now includes integrated microchips, RF chips and holograms! The one thing that hasn’t really changed is the cards basic size and shape!
For the promotional industry the “ability” to refer to something as being “credit card shaped” really helps because everyone can immediately relate to it. Almost irrespective of age, gender or social demographic we’ll all have a card that is “credit card shaped”. Most of us will also have a wallet, a purse or a bag that has a compartment specifically designed to carry a standard credit card shaped product.
Whilst the promotional industry has historically not been in the market of giving away credit cards per se it has spotted the benefits of giving away products that fit neatly into a wallet or purse hence the proliferation of products like card shaped calendars, card shaped calculators, card shaped CD-ROM’s and so on.
More recent innovations include the arrival of the credit card shaped USB flash drive and the credit card shaped Power Bank!
Credit Card Power Banks
The credit card USB flash drives work in exactly the same way that a “standard” flash drive work but the flash memory, the flash controller chips and all of the connectors etc. have been squeezed into a card that is barely any thicker than a standard credit card. In fact these cards are only 2mm thick so they really are credit card like and as such they slip easily into any wallet or purse.
Although they’re only 2mm thick they work just like any conventional USB stick and they can store up to 32GB of data – that’s a huge amount of data!
The credit card shaped Power Banks are a little thicker at 8mm but they pack a punch and with an integral 220mAh of power they can revive a dead smart phone in minutes and fully re-charge a dead smart phone in around 2hrs.
Whichever promotional card shaped product you choose you’ll benefit from the ability to print complex and intricate prints onto it. This makes them an ideal choice if you’ve got a large logo, a logo with lots of colours or perhaps a logo with graduated tints. The generous print area also gives you loads of room for supporting text web addresses and contact information.
The USB Cards and Power Banks are available from USB2U and if you need them in a hurry they can be printed and delivered in as little as 24hrs!
USB Credit Cards
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
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!
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
Posted by USB2U on 24th April 2015 | Permalink
We love a good read and on our list of favourite books is Douglas Adams fourth book of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy. It was first published in 1984, long before digital downloads, and long before digital copies were available on products like USB memory sticks.
Today things would be so different! Whilst printed books are making a real fight of things, the future is very much digital – not just e-books, but all forms of digital distribution including books loaded on USB sticks.
Most of the USB card e-books that we see, produce and supply at the moment seem to be used as part of a launch PR campaign. 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 and journalists at PR organised lunches.
They’re a great way to selectively distribute copies of a new book (before it’s officially available) without having to worry about doing small print runs or setting up secretive webservers with secure logins to allow a digital download. If you are targeting book reviewers and you can excite or enthuse them by giving them the “book” on something interesting and unusual like a USB book then you’re halfway there in terms of getting their attention- ok, we’re not saying they’re going to guarantee a 5 star review but it should help.
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.
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 using USB cards is a good way of controlling the book’s 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!
There’s also a real novelty factor to e-books being supplied for review this way, and if they’re posted out it’s significantly cheaper to pop a very thin (2mm card) into a standard letter envelope than pay for package post, as you would have to with a book.
The opportunity for e-books is not just limited to works of fiction. The concept also lends itself 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) and company handbooks.
A classic example would be an international TV brackets manufacturer who posted out a hard copy of their new brochure and distributor/re-seller prices lists across Europe every year. Because of the weight of the catalogue, the shipping costs alone were £10 per brochure. They didn’t want to put everything online though, 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 or manual is staggering! The trick is 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.
Of course it’s not just books that we’re seeing released on promotional USB flash drives. We’re also seeing lots of interest from musical artists who are looking to release copies of their work on a well packed and printed USB stick. A great example is Peter Gabriel, lead singer of Genesis, who commissioned USB sticks and boxes from us for his Back to Front Tour.
Some artists have gone the extra mile and commissioned fully customised versions with a “retro” twist like USB Cassettes – they look amazing, they’re great fun and of course they generate lots of social media interest, chatter and likes which is half the challenge when you’re a young aspiring artist and you’re trying to use all the channels to get your name known.
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!
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
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!
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 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.
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
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:
- 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.
- 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)
- 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)
- 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.
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:
- They’re a shape we’re all familiar with and as such we all have wallets, purses, bags etc. to carry them in
- The latest versions are only 2mm thick so they are only marginally thicker than a standard bank issued card!
- They come in a wide range of memory sizes all the way up to a whopping 32GB
- They can be printed in full colour (with the full image bleed to the edge of the card) on both sides
- 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
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)