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With only 50 days until Christmas NOW is the time to order your USB Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 4th November 2015 | Permalink

If you thought Halloween was scary that’s nothing compared to how quickly Christmas is approaching. With only 50 days to go its time to get organised, it’s time to think about what gifts you want to give to your staff and what gifts you want to give to your customers and the service staff (drivers, window cleaners, delivery drivers etc.) that support your business all year round.

If you procrastinate and leave it much later and you may struggle to get exactly what you want and more importantly you might struggle to get your Christmas gifts printed with your logo on and the gifts personalised with unique messages.

Assuming of course that you want to give a gift this year the next challenge is to decide what to give – favourites often include hampers, drinks and chocolates but increasingly companies that give gifts to customers and prospects are looking for something that carries their brand and will last beyond Christmas. If the gift can generate a bit of a “buzz” or “wow” factor when opened that in turn drives Social Media activity then so much the better! When giving gifts to staff branding is obviously less of a requirement!

USB Cards for Christmas

Give a Promotional USB Stick at Christmas

In the promotional gift sector 2015 has been the year of the Power Bank and we expect to see lots of these given away but equally we also expect thousands and thousands of branded USB memory sticks to be handed out. Whilst USB sticks won’t be for everyone when they are printed with a company logo and pre-loaded with a Christmas message they are a brilliant idea.

They work at Christmas not only because they still have a high-perceived value but because of the innovative ways in which you can use the massive amounts of storage on even the cheapest versions – include a short video message, an animated message or a message of thanks from a few key executives within your company or what about recording and loading onto the stick a “flash mob” message. Get creative, think what will inspire people, what will interest people and what will make them laugh and smile. (and take to Social Meida)

Anything you load onto the USB sticks can be made to “auto-run” – this means the content (the video for example) will play automatically when the USB memory stick is connected to any PC or Mac.

At USB2U we can not only supply your Christmas USB sticks but we also have lots of Power Banks that we can supply with your logo printed on. We even offer a personalisation and fulfilment service so you don’t have to worry about boxing them up and sending them out! Interested? Well, just give us a call and we’ll talk you through the options.


Create a Long lasting Impression with Laser Engraved Promotional USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on | Permalink

Do you print or do you engrave your promotional USB memory sticks. Before you place any order please take time to at least ponder the question because the default option for most of our customers is to print them without giving a second thought to the engraving option. We try to stay agnostic over the “engrave versus print” debate and let our customers make the choice but there are times when we see a job and think you know what that’d look so much better engraved. Perhaps it’s out fault; perhaps we should be more forthright in our opinions and try to encourage our customers to consider engraving their design or logo. It’s never easy getting the balance right between gently coaxing and encouragement and just candidly saying you’re wrong.

Printed USB sticks do look absolutely fantastic; there’s a wide range of USB sticks that you can print on print on (compared to those that you can engrave on) and there is a growing range that allow you to pint on them in full colour with a print bleed right the edge of the flash drive. There is a “but” though and that is that over time the print will begin to chip, scuff and wear away leaving behind a logo or design that is barely legible. How long the print will last on a USB stick depends on what it’s made from and the printing process used to apply the design.

Engraved USB Memory Sticks

Engraved USB Memory Sticks

Printing onto metal USB sticks can be challenging because the metal surface needs to be cleaned and primed before any ink can be applied to them and then, ideally, they need to be baked in a commercial print oven to get the print to adhere properly. This obviously takes place before the USB sticks are assembled otherwise the memory and flash module would be “cooked” during the drying process.

No matter how meticulously you clean the metal, or how well your prime them before you print them they are particularly susceptible because when the edge of the printed logo is chipped the tension is compromised the rest of the print tends to flake away pretty quickly.

Digital printing or screen printing onto a plastic surface tends to offer a more robust solution but even these techniques won’t guarantee the print eventually failing.

By contrast laser engraving as the name suggests “etches” the surface leaving a high precision finish that is permanent and won’t rub or scratch off. It’s a popular technique on a wide range of promotional products (including USB flash drives) but it’s a technique that is also widely used in industry to permanently mark medical devices, instruments, buttons, tags, car parts, bar codes and lots ore besides.

With engraving you will have to compromise on the colour the logo is produced in (but you can select a range of different coloured USB flash drives) but at least you’ll know the logo will be produced to a high level of accuracy and more fundamentally that it will last the test of time.

In many cases engraving is not only a better and longer lasting solution but aesthetically it looks better which is why many wedding photographers are opting for engraved wooden USB memory sticks in preference to printed options. Our wooden versions are particularly attractive and incredibly tactile and when combined with our engraved gift boxes they make a killer package.

USB Flash Drives for Professional Photographers

USB Flash Drives for Professional Photographers


Buzzzz – Wasps RFC include USB Stick in Members’ Welcome Pack for 2015/16

Posted by USB2U on 21st October 2015 | Permalink

Forget the Saracens there’s something special happening down the M6 at the Ricoh Stadium just outside of Coventry. New Stadium, a successful Secured Bond which raised £35m, a strong team, a growing support base in the midlands and the best looking New Members’ Welcome Pack bar none!

As a Northampton based supplier of Promotional USB Memory Sticks and staunch supporters of rivals Northampton Saints we’re gutted that Wasps have outgunned and out flanked the Saints with this brilliant membership pack – call us biased but we think the jewel in pack is the little black “Twister” USB stick that according to the Wasps website has been filled with tons of exciting content including; mobile phone and desktop screensavers and embedded links to video clips of the best tries of the 2014/15 season.

If we weren’t all die-hard Saints supporters we’d think very seriously about taking up one of their incredibly attractive (and cheap relative to the Saints) membership deals and not just to get a free USB stick! Some of us at USB2U live closer to Daventry and Rugby making the Ricoh Stadium arguably easier to get to than Franklins Gardens! – tempting…..

In the meantime we’ll just keep knocking on the door at Franklins Gardens and encouraging the marketing team to follow the lead of Wasps RFC.

Of course the perfect welcome pack as far as we’re concerned would be a pack that not only includes a branded USB stick but also includes a promotional power bank – these would be ideal to take to the game (or on those longer away trips) as a way of keeping you smart phone charged. After all as supporters we’re all encouraged these days to “Tweet from our seats” and to follow the team on Social Media. Not so easy to do if your phone is out of battery power hence why a power bank would be such a great members gift.

Get the power bank printed up in the clubs colours and include the URL’s or links to the various Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest pages and as a club you’ll have covered all the bases. They’re also a great option to sell in the Club Shop (either at the stadium or on-line) and they’ll make a welcome change from the usual mugs, caps, keyrings and mini rugby balls.

Wasps RFC USB Sticks

Wasps RFC New Member USB Sticks


Get Pregnant, Break a Bone or Block your Drains – All ways to get a USB Stick

Posted by USB2U on 16th October 2015 | Permalink

Over the last decade or so we’ve seen USB sticks used for all manner of things but to be fair the majority that we sell are used for promotional purposes. However as CD’s and DVD’s become less and less popular we’re seeing USB sticks used as a direct replacement for them and the breadth of their use is fascinating. Every day we seem to get enquires from new clients who have a new twist on how they plan to use their USB memory sticks.

Some of the more interesting and unusual ideas include the supply of 4D baby scans on a USB stick. Prospective parents used to be happy with a black and white Polaroid photo of their baby scan but now the demand is for a digital copy of the scan is rocketing. Companies like Babybond, the UK’s first ISO Quality Endorsed ultrasound provider are now offering their 4D Bonding Scan results on a USB Memory Stick.

As pioneers of 4D Bonding Scans (and the supply of the scans on USB sticks) they remain at the forefront of innovation in their field. Babybond are strong advocates of the service because they argue that the scans, which are a combination of still and moving images promote levels of early mother and child “bonding” that were simply unattainable prior to the introduction of their service.

BabyBond USB Memory Stick

BabyBond USB Memory Stick

It’s a similar story with broken bones, torn ligaments and fractures – we’re now seeing companies that offer private MRI scans using USB memory sticks rather than CD’s/DVD’s. A digital copy of the MRI scan is supplied at the end of the assessment. Supplying a copy of the scan is not new but the supply of it on a USB Stick is. With less and less PC’s and Mac’s now shipping without a CD/DVD player it’s become important for many businesses to make the shift to USB sticks

Companies dealing with blocked drains are the latest to use USB Sticks instead of CD’s and DVD’s – its typical of these companies to send a CCTV camera into the drains to carry out a “survey” of the drains before they start digging them up! The subsequent digital “video survey” is then copied onto a USB sticks and supplied to the customer with a quote for the remedial works needed. Again the arguments for the use of a USB stick are the same; ease of use, size, cost and of course they can be printed up with a logo, brand and contact details.

The common thread running through all of these examples is the need to provide “customers” with high quality digital images – if you work in a sector or profession that might benefit from making the move from CD/DVD to USB Sticks then please give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.



Political Party Conference Time – USB Sticks at the ready

Posted by USB2U on 5th October 2015 | Permalink

The political party conference bandwagon rolls on this week with the Conservatives holding their annual conference in Manchester. The anti-austerity protesters have grabbed the early headlines with a reported 60,000 people showing their unhappiness at a broad range of measures that the Conservatives are looking to introduce.

On the plus side for the Conservatives last years ban on Champagne has been lifted and the resounding victory they achieved during the last election will no-doubt ensure that the overriding mood during the conference will be hugely positive.

Of course during any conference (political or otherwise) there is much serious business to attend to and lots of information to disseminate to the attendees. The main stages and theatres at any conference tend to be surrounded by lots of “pop-up” stands organised by lobby groups, commercial organisations and groups that want to promote and sell their ideas or promote and sell their products and services.

Many of these, including at the main parties at the political conferences, will use branded USB sticks as the vehicle to disseminate their message. Historically you might have been handed a CD or DVD but today with less and less PC’s and Mac’s being sold with a built in CD/DVD reader USB sticks have become the de facto alternative.

Branded Memory Sticks for Conferences

Branded Memory Sticks for Conferences

The beauty of a USB stick is that they look great branded up with a logo and strap line and they typically have loads of digital storage (8GB is the norm these days for a give-away USB stick). This amount of storage means you can pre-load onto the stick all of your conference slides, speaker notes, video clips, marketing brochures and any press releases you might have prepared for the event.

By putting all of this information onto a USB stick there is no need to print the material, there’s less paper used and printed, less stuff to lug around in boxes, less petrol and transport costs and less waste! All these savings mean that the cost of the USB sticks can be more than offset and as a company or organisation you look much more professional, you can play the “eco card” and of course everyone loves being given a “freebie” like a USB stick!

If you’re a conference organiser you’ll find that USB sticks can be a real saviour. By digitising your content and loading it onto a USB stick you can extend your copy dealines, you can give your speakers a little more time and you can make last minute changes that you simply can’t do with printed material.

Whatever your political leaning branded USB memory sticks at a conference make sense! Order them now from USB2U – please.


5 Common Mistakes People Make When Ordering Printed USB Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 10th September 2015 | Permalink

Printed USB memory sticks remain one of the most popular promotional give-aways with millions being handed out every year in the UK alone. The companies that buy these USB memory sticks often leave the buying decision right until the last minute with a growing number wanting their order printed and delivered within hours rather than days or weeks.

At USB2U we’re happy to oblige and turn around orders in whatever timeframe is needed and we’re fortunate enough to be able to print (and engrave) in-house from our own stock and of course we use our own design and print team to manage the whole process – keeping everything under one roof makes life that much easier and of course we have full control over the quality of the sticks, the printing and any data-loading that might be needed.

But, to achieve the often challenging deadlines we’re set it does help if a few simple things are done in advance and during the ordering/manufacturing process. If they can be then everyone’s stress levels and heart rates will easier to manage:

Here are the five most common issues that crop up that makes life more challenging that it needs to be:

  1. Poor Artwork – garbage in garbage out is a phrase more synonymous with the computer industry but it’s equally appropriate when it comes to printing anything – if the artwork you supply is poor then then final printed product will be poor. We’re good and we have some fantastic state of the art printing equipment but even we can’t get a good print from an image “grabbed” from your website or “cut and pasted” from Microsoft Office document. Before you place your order it really helps if you could make sure you can get high quality vector artwork files in any of the following formats; .eps. .ai, .pdf, .cad or .swf.
  2. A common attempt to “work around” this request is to cheat and save a .jpg or .gif file as vector file. Sadly this won’t help – all you do is create a low quality image that will result in a low quality print.
  3. Pantone references – if you need an exact representation of the colours in your logo then we’ll need you to supply the Pantone reference numbers for each colour. Without these the only option is to “best match” the colours. If you’re using our digital print service then the colours will always be “best match” because that’s how digital printers work. If this is likely to be an issue we can silk screen print the individual pantone colours for you but we can’t do this on any of our “Rush Services”
  4. Please be available – once you have committed to an order for printed USB sticks there are several stages that your order will go through and at each stage you (or a colleague) will need to be available to sign off the proof, to sign off any data that is being loaded onto the sticks and finally to make payment for the sticks. If you or another member of your team can’t be reached it may delay things and you could miss your preferred delivery date.
  5. Delivery address – please think about where your USB sticks are going to be delivered to. We ship 99% of our orders with UPS on a next day service but if you live in certain Post Codes this actually means two days. If for example you live in the Highlands or Islands or other remote parts of the UK then allow an extra day for delivery. Equally, make sure you double check the address you supply for delivery, offer a contact phone number and make sure someone is going to be in on the delivery date to receive the printed USB sticks. If you need delivery on a Saturday then please let us know because our standard deliveries are Mon-Fri.
Printed USB Sticks

Printed USB Sticks


School DT Project Idea – Design & Build Your Own USB Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 9th September 2015 | Permalink

Could you be the next James Dyson or Richard Branson. Have you got an urge to design and build your own products or perhaps you’re happier dreaming up creative ways to market and sell your product ideas. Perhaps you hanker after trying out your ideas on sites like Kickstarter and trying to raise some financial backing – with the emergence of the Internet there are now loads of way to get your ideas supported.

At many schools in the UK you’ll be given the chance during your Design and Technology classes to come up with a new product idea – you’ll be challenged to design something, produce a prototype, think about the manufacturing challenges, think about your target customer(s), think about how you’ll brand it, market it, sell in and hopefully make money from it. Think of it as a Dragon’s Den for the classroom!

If you’re struggling for ideas (and lots of people do) then you might want to think of designing and building your own custom USB memory sticks? It’s easier than you might think, it’s great fun and there are lots of different creative ways to use these familiar products. USB sticks are commonly used as promotional give-aways but they are also used to load baby 3D and 4D scans onto, to load MRI scans on, to record track day data on at places like Silverstone, to market new housing developments – the list goes on and one!

A very simple idea is to just design a USB stick to be sold at your school but rather than just buying standard factory designed USB flash drives and printing your school crest or logo one why not get the sticks made in a design unique to the school. Anything is possible and some great results can be achieved relatively easily because if you can get your hands on the core components its really just an assembly job.

Inside most USB Memory Sticks are three core components; a memory module, a controller chip and a capacitor – these are typically pre-assembled onto a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) and connected to a USB interface. The PCB can then be embedded into any outer casing to create a unique USB flash drive. Just like any commercially available (and assembled) USB flash drive you can buy the PCB’s in a range of memory capacities starting at 128MB all the way up to 32GB.

If you fancy having a go at building your own USB sticks (perhaps as part of a school project) then we can supply you with all the components you need including any accessories your might want for your finished product including key ring attachments, lanyards and gift-boxes.

We have a minimum order of 50 pieces for the PCB USB’s so if you did want to get a project off the ground and you’re not a school or company then get your entrepreneurial hat on and start raising the capital you need.

Build Your Own USB Stick

Build Your Own USB Stick



Wooden USB Memory Sticks – Ideal for Jenga

Posted by USB2U on | Permalink

Small, uniformly shaped wooden blocks are commonly associated with the brilliant family game Jenga but at USB2U we tend to associate them with professional photographers. The reason? Well, wooden USB memory sticks have become the go to product of choice for the majority of thousands of professional photographers that we supply.

We’re don’t think it’s because as a sector they’re all secret Jenga fans who while away hours furtively playing Jenga with each other in secret club venues. No, we think they’re buying the wooden USB sticks because they look and feel fantastic, because they’re not the sort of thing you can get down your local Tesco store and because when combined with an attractive gift box they make a brilliant “package” to hand a professional portfolio out on.

USB Jenga

USB Jenga – Wooden USB Sticks

Wooden USB sticks have undergone a bit of a renaissance lately with interest fuelled by their strong “eco” credentials and the launch of lots of new designs and styles but it’s the photography sector that have really taken them to their hearts.

If you check out our Facebook page, our Flickr pages or our Pinterest pages you’ll see loads of great example of our wooden drives – some printed but most engraved with nearly all of them supplied in one of our range of complimentary wooden gift boxes. Lots of the photos are sent to us by delighted photographers who have gotten great feedback from their clients – we’re always delighted to get these photos and happy (with permission) to share them.

Wooden USB Memory Sticks

Wooden USB Memory Sticks

As you can see from the images we supply a range of different styles and most of them come in a light wood or dark wood option (all from sustainable sources) and some are available made from bamboo – an ideal choice if you really want to push the eco message.

If you choose a wooden USB flash drive you don’t have to compromise of storage capacity or performance – they are available in memory sizes from 128MB all the way up to a massive 32GB. The ones we supply to the photography sector all have upgraded components (flash memory modules, controller chips and capacitor) or they can be supplied as a USB 3.0 drive (the latest and fastest USB specification)

To really appreciate just how good these products are it’s worth seeing them in the flesh. Ask our team to send you some samples – get enough and you’ll be able to play Jenga (actually, no, don’t do that we don’t want to encourage that)

USB2U Wooden USB Memory Sticks

USB2U Wooden USB Memory Sticks


Financial Crisis in China no risk to USB Stick supply but Forthcoming Holidays are

Posted by USB2U on 25th August 2015 | Permalink

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of weeks you’ll have noticed there’s a little bit of trouble brewing in China – the financial markets are in turmoil, share prices are in freefall and its anyone’s guess where its all going to end. Depending on what you read or who you believe it could be anything from a bit of a “bump” to financial Armageddon!

Damian McBride a former advisor to Gordon Brown appeared to suggest that the stock market dip could lead to global civil disorder or other situations where it would be unreasonable for someone to leave the house. Amongst his many suggestions is stocking up on bottled water and tinned food!

One of the many things China needs to do to address its current problem is to continue trading and demonstrate strength in its own capabilities as the manufacturing powerhouse in the world. The global centre for the production of Promotional USB Memory Sticks is in Shenzhen City in Guangdong Province, China and the USB factories have continued to churn out USB sticks in the tens of thousands every day during the “crisis”.

The clear message coming from the USB memory sticks factories is that its business as usual!

BUT, and it it’s a big BUT there is a something looming on the near horizon that will bring production to a grinding halt and that’s the National Holiday. From the 27th September to 8th October China effectively closes for business. Nothing will get manufactured, nothing will get shipped and no new orders will be accepted.

Irrespective of the turmoil in financial markets China is going on holiday!

So, if you are thinking of ordering some promotional USB memory sticks for an event in late September or October then you either need to get your order in now (so your sticks can be produced and shipped before the holidays start) or you may have to wait until the factories return after their holiday – if you take the risk and wait do bear in mind that it takes a couple of weeks for the factories to catch up with the inevitable backlog that will have built up!

As usual during these holidays we’ll be stocking up on a wide range of blank USB sticks that we can print/engrave in-house. This allows us to continue to offer a 24hr “rush service” but of course it will be on a much narrower range of products than shown on our website.

We’ll also be “tweeting” out lots of offers and promos during the holidays so it might be worthwhile following us on your Twitter account if you’re not doing so already.

Choppy waters for USB Stick Supply

Choppy waters for USB Stick supply


Limited Time offer – FREE Printed USB Gift Boxes with Our Glide USB Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 18th August 2015 | Permalink

We’re expecting this offer to be popular so if you want to take advantage of this cracking deal then you’ll need to move quickly. We’re only running it until the end of August and then if you want printed USB gift boxes with your order after this date our usual charges will apply.

It’s not just “Free” printed magnetic boxes that are included in the offer. Order our popular Glide USB memory stick before then end of August 2015 and we’ll upgrade your order to our “rush” 5 day service, we’ll print them on both sides (for free) and if you need a bit of help with the artwork set-up we can do that to!

The only catch is that there is a minimum order of 25pcs but with prices for 4GB Glide USB sticks in the offer starting at £4.65 for 25 and dropping to £2.20 for 500 or more any order is hardly going to break the bank!

We always advocate buying your promotional USB sticks with gift boxes because they look much more professional supplied this way. If you don’t order gift boxes then we supply them in a thin polythene bag as standard but these bags are really just to protect the print on the sticks and make sure they don’t get scratched in transit.

The most popular USB Gift box we sell is the one included in this offer – the magnetic clasp box. These attractive boxes are strong, robust, they are easy to open and they stay firmly shut when closed by virtue of the integrated magnetic clasp.

Typically (and it’s the case with this offer) these magnetic clasp boxes are supplied with a custom foam insert that’s precision cut to match the shape of the USB flash drive that it’s used with. This not only helps with the overall presentation but also keeps the USB disks firmly in situ when they are transported or mailed out.

You could simply repeat the logo or design you’re having printed on the stick printed on to the top of the gift box or you might choose to use the larger print space available on the box to print a broader marketing message – there is NO charge for having a different image printed on the boxes!

The list price of our magnetic clasp boxes starts at 40p each (unprinted) so there’s a huge saving with this deal – whilst it lasts!

Free USB Gift Boxes

Free USB Gift Boxes Offer from USB2U