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

We do more than just USB Sticks – Check Out Our Promotional Power Banks

Posted by USB2U on 15th October 2015 | Permalink

One of the challenges for marketers looking to buy promotional products is to find something that is relevant – nearly 40% of participants in the recent BPMA research review of the Promotional Gift Market said they’d spend more if they felt they could find products that worked for them.

Top of what they are looking for is a top quality product that is memorable and that is relevant but interestingly they need to be able to source this for less than £10 per unit and in most cases for less than £5 per unit.

Herein lies the challenge. USB Sticks printed with a company logo and pre-loaded with data files are well within the price boundaries that are defined by most marketing budgets but for some companies they’re no longer as relevant as they used to be. They’ve either “done USB sticks” or just want “something a little bit different”. But what? What else is available that meets the price, quality and performance parameters that marketers are seeking?

Whilst the core of our business (USB2U) has, and always will be, promotional USB memory sticks, we understand that some of our customers are looking for something else and we’d rather they bought that “something else” from us than one of our competitors.

We’ve always supplied a small number of other USB products including USB Fans, USB speakers and USB Christmas Decorations (USB fairy lights and USB Xmas Trees) but none of these have grabbed our interest quite as much as the range of Power Banks that we now supply.

For the uninitiated Power Banks are rechargeable batteries that can be used to charge up a huge range of portable devices but are commonly used to recharge smart phones. They come in a range of sizes, both physical and in terms of the power they store, they look fantastic and with a logo added to them they are a brilliant giveaway.

When you consider how many of us now use Smart Phones every day and how many of us get frustrated when the battery starts to run low its easy to appreciate how useful a Power Bank can be – simply plug one into your Smart Phone and within 10 minutes you can use it from “dead” and within 2 hours it will be fully recharged. Whatever your marketing campaign Power Banks are likely to be relevant because we love our phones and anything that makes them work that little bit longer is going to be really appreciated.

We love Power Banks (not quite as much as we love USB sticks) and we’re delighted to be able to supply a wide range many of which we hold in the UK and can print and deliver in as little as 24hrs.

The latest addition to our range is the Pixel Power Bank and its fab! Available with 4000mAh or 8000mAh of stored power it will fully recharge a smart phone not once but twice!

Pixel Power Banks from USB2U

New – the Pixel Power Bank is the latest model in the USB2U range


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

Posted by USB2U on 5th October 2015 | Permalink

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

USB Data Loading Services from USB2U

USB Data Loading Services from USB2U



USB2U Announce Merger with Gilt Edged Promotions

Posted by USB2U on 17th September 2015 | Permalink

USB2U are pleased to announce that they have joined forces with a leading promotional product specialist also based in Northampton; Gilt Edged Promotions. Gilt Edged and USB2U are both well-established names in the promotional products industry in their own right and they are now looking forward to an even brighter future together.

Both companies will be working together under one roof in Moulton Park and their aim is to become the UK’s leading ‘one stop shop’ for anything and everything branded with a logo. Together they will generate a combined annual revenue of £8.5m. USB2U and Gilt Edged will continue to trade under their well-known individual brand names and the 60+ strong team are excited by the opportunities that their shared skill-sets and strengths will bring.

Team USB2U and Gilt Edged in Moulton Park

Team USB2U and Gilt Edged in Moulton Park

The owners and directors, Jonathan Cook of Gilt Edged Promotions and Sebastian La Porta of USB2U, said “The merger is seen as a natural progression for both businesses and is a perfect strategic fit. We strongly believe that the combined resources will drive further growth and development for both our loyal customers and our dedicated staff”.

Both businesses uniquely boast in-house state of the art manufacturing equipment, enabling them to deliver printed USB memory sticks, branded Power Banks and many other useful products in unparalleled time-frames. They are delighted to be bringing professional and promotional gift production back to the heart of the UK right here in the Midlands. With a combined 45+ years’ experience in the industry, both teams have a wealth of experience to share with their new colleagues and the possibilities moving forward are exciting news for Northampton.

USB2U are now part of the Gilt Edged Group.

USB2U are now part of the Gilt Edged Group

Notes for Editors:

Both businesses are based in Northampton and will now operate together from a 37,000 square foot factory and office facility in Moulton Park, Northampton.  Gilt Edged Promotions becomes the majority shareholder.

Who are Gilt Edged Promotions?

Gilt Edged began producing promotional products in 1986.  Their product range includes a full range of promotional merchandise, as well as diaries, calendars and notebooks.  In addition they are a supplier of branded clothing and work-wear all finished in-house in their facility in Northampton.

Who are USB2U?

USB2U were established in 2002 and now supply in excess of 1.3 million branded USB memory sticks per year. Their UK based printing and engraving facilities have enabled them to gain an excellent reputation for branding and printing technology related products with outstanding lead times.


For more information and photo opportunity please contact: 

Anne-Marie Cook – Marketing Manager   Tel: 01604 672306 Mobile:07931 137024



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


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


Festivals – It’s what Power Banks were made for!

Posted by USB2U on 23rd July 2015 | Permalink

If you’re attending a Festival this summer then you’ll find loads of websites offering pages and pages of advice on what to take with you, what to wear to and how to make the most of your time at the festival. Most tend to focus on dealing with the unpredictable British weather with lots of helpful advice on wellies, thick socks, waterproofs , sturdy boots and a change of underwear!

Others dwell more on some of the more “challenging” aspects of festival going and suggest you pack lots of toilet rolls, rubbish bags and gaffer tape! An interesting combination.

All seem to be universal in the need to take your tickets (of course) and a fully charged mobile phone and some way of keeping the phone charged whilst you’re there. The tickets are easy (you just need to remember them) but keeping your power hungry smart phone charged throughout the festival is going to be a huge challenge! Let’s face it the photo’s the Facebook posts, the tweets and the SnapChat posts alone will drain most smart phone batteries in a few hours.

If you are going to take your smart phone with you to a festival (and there is a strong argument for just dumbing down and taking an old and basic Nokia) then we’d strongly recommend that your take a Power Bank with you. These are basically good quality re-chargeable batteries that plug into your smart phone using a simple USB cable and re-charge your phone.

Dual Power Bank

Dual Power Bank from USB2U – ideal for Festivals

A decent Power Bank (and you determine the quality by the amount of stored power it holds and who supplied it) will typically fully charge a dead smart phone in around 90 minutes. If you’ve got a PowerBank with a large power store (typically 6200mAh to 10,000 mAh) then you’ll get several full re-charges from it. A good example of these is the Dual Power Bank that USB2U have recently introduced – this has so much stored power that you could recharge two phones simultaneously!

If you’re a company looking for a promotional product for the summer then you could do a lot worse than giving away a Power Bank with your brand or logo printed on it. Give them away at the festival (fully charged – which is how they come) and you’re likely to be swamped! Pretty much everyone ends up running out of power for their smartphone or tablets at a festival so if you can be the saviour then your company is going to get huge brownie points – link the giveaway to a Social Media program and you’re pretty much guaranteed loads of posts and likes!

USB2U offer a wide range of PowerBanks and carry thousands in stock which they can print and deliver on a next day service. All power to USB2U!


Agreement Reached on bailout for Greece – USB2U breathes sigh of relief

Posted by USB2U on 13th July 2015 | Permalink

Talk about going to the wire! After another series of all night talk it finally looks as though there is agreement across the eurozone on a way forward.

To quote Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission head “There will be no Grexit” – The financial markets have responded positively, but of course there is still the small matter of the Greece government having to pass the reforms that underpin the agreement by Wednesday. If this happens then whilst it won’t exactly be business as usual at least there will be a way forward and we can all collectively work on restoring something akin to normality.

For us at USB2U this is fabulous news because we have lots of clients in Greece and they have remained loyal to us over the past few years. Many of them are local photographers that take on wedding orientated assignments and come to us because of our range of popular wooden USB sticks and gift boxes but we have plenty of other more general businesses in Greece that we also supply.

Greece Bailout Deal done - no Grexit

Greece Bailout Deal Done – Hooray

Failure to reach agreement wouldn’t necessarily mean we couldn’t or wouldn’t continue to supply our Greek customers but we suspect it would make our prices and payment terms less attractive than they are today. (or have been over the past year or two).

Anyway now there seems consensus on a way forward we’re delighted because it means we can focus on what we do best and that’s working with our customers to deliver a range of amazing branded USB memory sticks – Hooray!

All we need now is for the uncertainty and mild chaos that’s rocking the Chinese Stock markets to abate and we’d be in the happy position of saying stability has been restored! Unfortunately whilst all eyes across europe have been on Greece the bigger potential crisis has been unfolding in China.

Given that all of our USB sticks are manufactured in China (we finish, e.g. print or engrave the majority in the UK but buy the core “blank” sticks from China) it’s critical to us (and our customers) that we can be assured of stability in supply and pricing.

Whilst our partner factory is not directly affected by the lurches in the stock market per se they (and we) do suffer when sentiment moves against China and the exchange rates take a hit. All USB sticks are purchased from the factories in China in US dollars so pricing is directly connected to the international financial markets.

So, whilst the deal for Greece is welcome news we’d be a lot happier if the Chinese markets could follow suit and find some stability.


No Fake Reviews amongst our 3,000 Reviews on Trustpilot

Posted by USB2U on 19th June 2015 | Permalink

This morning the BBC reported that businesses in the UK are ambushing rivals with fake reviews, that customers are using the threat of leaving a poor review to negotiate a discount and that some review sites are failing to “take live” negative comments to give businesses a chance to resolve the matter rather than suffer a poor review.

Such is the concern about the extent of fake reviews that are now on the internet that The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is to launch an investigation into the burgeoning review industry. It will report it’s finding and recommendations in 2016 but this is serious stuff with firms found to be acting illegally facing stiff fines and their directors possibly facing imprisonment!

The CMA, an important business regulator, said an initial study on the issue had “unearthed evidence that restaurants and other firms were posting fake reviews in sufficient numbers to warrant a formal investigation”. It also found that online reviews greatly influenced more than half of adult when they were shopping online.

At USB2U we sell promotional USB memory sticks. We operate in a highly competitive market and we know that many of prospective customers read reviews before placing their first order with us – why wouldn’t they, it’s common practice when buying over the internet today.

As a business that has been supplying promotional USB memory sticks for well over a decade (with a large number of customers that come back to us time and time again) we pride ourselves on the product(s) we supply and the service we offer. We, perhaps with a touch of arrogance, think our service is what differentiates us from the competition and we want someone, other than us, to promote this message – who better than our customers.

As such we encourage our customers to review us on Trustpilot. We’ve been using this service now for around 4 years and in that time we have accumulated over 3,000 reviews. We have NO control over what customers post, the score they award us, or the “taking live” of any review and nor would we want it.

Trustpilot, an independent 3rd party review service, posts ALL reviews, good or bad. If a negative review is posted (and we’ve had a few and most of them made fair comments) our recourse is to use the feedback as a learning experience and do things differently and better next time around.

We’re not perfect and we’re always learning. The feedback we get not only helps prospective customers but also us a business. Honest, open, and objective feedback is what we want and what we encourage. It’s disappointing that other businesses are apparently manipulating review sites but all we can do is reassure our customers that all of our reviews are genuine, all reviews are posted and all reviews are read and we appreciate the time and trouble customers take to post them.

We welcome the review by the CMA.

Branded USB Memory Sticks

Branded USB Memory Sticks


USB Sticks and Keepsake Boxes fit for a Princess

Posted by USB2U on 6th May 2015 | Permalink

Fantastic news about the birth of the latest Royal baby on Saturday! Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (Charlotte Elizabeth Diana) arrived at 8:34am on Saturday and the announcement has provided a welcome respite to all of the political debate in the lead up to the General Election on Thursday.

Whilst there’s been masses of media coverage and loads of photos of Princess Charlotte it’s unlikely we’re going to see any “official” photos released by the Palace for at least another 3-4 weeks. Her brother (Prince George) was a couple of days short of being a month old before the first official image was released and even then these were a few snapshots taken by Kate’s father.

It’ll be interesting to see if this time around Kate and William use the services of a professional photographer or whether they elect (again) to keep the whole thing “in the family”. It’s a commission that most professional photographers would give their right arm to get albeit it won’t come without lots of pressure, scrutiny not to mention the demands (and intrusion) of the press!

If they do commission a professional photographer Kate and William won’t be alone because these days the newborn baby photography sector is growing fast and there are some brilliant pros that specialise in nothing but baby photography. Of course as a market grows and brings more competition into it one of the challenges is to make sure you differentiate your service so photographers are now using things like engraved USB memory sticks and matching engraved keepsake boxes to store digital copies of the baby photos on and in!

But, a pretty keepsake box and cute engraved USB memory stick is just a great “value add” and nothing more. Fundamentally it has to be about the quality of the photography and how the photographer engages with their client and the baby.

If you are an established baby photographer then, irrespective of whether you get the “gig” at the Palace you might want to think about offering digital copies of your shots to your clients on an engraved or printed USB memory stick. It’s the way the market is moving and there are now several specialist companies (including USB2U) that not only offer these types of products but have also invested in dedicated websites aimed at the Pro-Photography sector.

If you are think that you’re on the short list of possibles for the first official photographs of Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge then good luck!

Tasmin Holland

Tasmin Holland – Professional Photography – USB Sticks and Boxes



London 2015 – Get Your Promotional USB Stick Running Gear on

Posted by USB2U on 27th April 2015 | Permalink

Our excuse for not running in the London 2015 Marathon yesterday is that we were too busy printing lots of promotional USB memory stick rush jobs over the weekend and we didn’t have the time. A pretty lame excuse we know and maybe 2016 will be the year it all changes. Perhaps not something to bet on but you never know.

Of course the lack of fitness and stamina across the company might also play a small part! Whilst we’ve got some pretty hardcore cyclists at USB2U (well two) the rest of the team are more of the armchair sports enthusiast type. It’s a sad state of affairs but the reality (as evidenced by this weekend) is that the closest most of us come to any regular exercise is running around in the print room keeping all of our printers churning out USB sticks.

Occasionally we like to mix it up a bit and combine work with sport but by this we mean designing and printing sports related USB sticks. These custom USB sticks in the shape of a running kit are about the closest we’ve ever got to doing any running and of course that’s a “stretch” to say the least!

Sad that it is but our world is centered around flash drives, we eat, sleep and breath them and often we’re working around the clock 7 days a week to supply them against some pretty challenging deadlines. If there was a marathon event or an “Olympics” for USB stick production we like to think we’d be in with a real shout of a medal. Perhaps we just need to get out more!

If you have a requirement for promotional flash drives

USB2U - Running a USB Marathon Every Day

USB2U – Running a USB Marathon Every Day

anytime soon then do bear us in mind. We’re a pretty dedicated team that likes nothing more than to be kept busy. Some might argue that it’s an avoidance tactic so we don’t have to do something more interesting, more stimulating and more rewarding – like running the London Marathon!

We like to think of it as more a single-minded determination to be the very best at what we do. We think of ourselves as the Paula Radcliffe of the USB supplier world but hopefully without the little en-route public “accidents” and we’re certainly not ready to hang up our running shoes just yet.

USB2U – running a USB production marathon every day.