USB2U News

Fearless Karen kicks off USB2U’s charity fundraising…

Posted by USB2U on 14th October 2016 | Permalink

At Team USB2U we are proud to announce our sponsorship of Northampton based charity, Cynthia Spencer Hospice. Over the last few years we have taken part in many fundraising activities for the hospice, however this year, along with our sister company Gilt Edged Promotions, we decided to make it official and donate all money generated from bake sales,  dress down days and other charity events straight to the hospice.

Karen from USB2U abseiling the Northampton Lift Tower

USB2U’s daredevil Karen takes the plunge to raise over £500!

To kick off our charity partnership in style, USB2U Account Manager Karen Eede decided to make a bold move and set the standard for her colleagues to follow by abseiling Northampton’s most famous landmark, the Lift Tower! Whilst the 400 ft impressive tower certainly got her adrenaline pumping, Karen wasn’t going to shy away from the challenge.

She said: “This is an amazing charity which has a special place in my heart as they cared for my mum so well in her last days with us. Taking the first step over the edge was the most terrifying part, but the money I had already raised for the hospice kept me going and focused on the task in hand.”

The Northampton Lift Tower

Eye-wateringly tall Northampton Lift Tower!

Cynthia Spencer Hospice provide inpatient care, outpatient services, Hospice at Home and palliative care specialist nurse services for the local area. They also offer specialist physical, psychological, social and spiritual care to those with life limiting illnesses, with focus on quality of life and respecting the uniqueness of each person.  A large part of the cost of running these services comes from the generous support of local companies and individuals in the Northampton area. In addition to our fundraising activities, USB2U have also donated much needed stationary items including branded USB fans and branded USB sticks which should come in handy in the nurse’s station.

Karen from USB2U abseiling down the Northampton Lift Tower

Don’t look down Karen!

With this one event alone, Karen managed to raise over £500.00 on behalf of USB2U for Cynthia Spencer Hospice. This is thanks to the generous support of her colleagues, family and friends. Thank you Karen for taking the leap and making such a great start to USB2U’s charity fundraising.

Karen from USB2U abseils down the Northampton Lift Tower

Karen’s first few steps for Cynthia Spencer!


Cycle4Cynthia 2016 – Natalie takes on the challenge!

Posted by USB2U on 26th September 2016 | Permalink

On Sunday 25th September 2016, USB2U’s very own cycling superhero Natalie Longley took on the challenge of a 50 mile cycle ride to raise money for our chosen charity, Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

Natalie from USB2U on her Cynthia Spencer Charity Bike Ride

Natalie rode 50 miles for Cynthia Spencer Hospice!

Natalie, Head of Sales and Commercial Development for USB2U, does cycle regularly with a local cycling group, however the prospect of a ride which was over 50 miles long was in her own words “a little daunting to say the least”. It was a gruelling course with 3000ft of climbing (who knew Northamptonshire was so hilly?!) but with £350 of sponsorship money riding on the event, Natalie wasn’t going to give up without a fight! Luckily the amazing Cynthia Spencer volunteers and her support team Steve and Diane Sharpe from White Arches Caravans kept her going with plenty of refreshments and encouragement. She finished the ride in 3.5 hours.

Cynthia Spencer Hospice is a charity close to many people’s hearts in the Northampton area and in 2016 USB2U, a leading supplier of branded USB sticks, power banks and other promotional tech gifts, decided to put all their fundraising efforts towards this fantastic local organisation and raise money regularly through a series of events.

Natalie from USB2U with a Cynthia Spencer Frame

Natalie at the finish line!

Sebastian La Porta, Managing Director of USB2U, said: “We are delighted to offer our support for this charity, which has touched the lives of so many in our local community. It is our honour to be part of the fundraising effort for Cynthia Spencer Hospice.”

Over the coming months, Team USB2U have many more charity events planned including a hair raising Lift Tower Abseil in Northampton town centre which Karen Eede, Senior Account Manager, and some of her colleagues will be taking on. Watch this space to find out more about USB2U’s fundraising activities.


Kingston Technology USB flash drives by USB2U

Posted by USB2U on 4th July 2016 | Permalink

We are proud to announce our new partnership with Kingston Technology. Kingston is the world’s largest independent manufacturer of memory products with its global headquarters in Fountain Valley, California. Kingston serves an international network of distributors, resellers, retailers and OEM customers on six continents.

We now offer a specially selected range of Kingston USBs as part of our range of high quality USB flash drives. Great co-branding opportunities are available for our customers with Kingston USB flash drives. The USB flash drives can be printed digitally or laser engraved depending on the chosen USB style.

Encrypt your USBs to secure data

Many companies deal with sensitive data and require the best possible protection for their information. We offer three Kingston USB flash drives which are hardware encrypted and ideal for secure use: 

1) Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3

Kingston’s DataTraveler® Locker+ G3 secures receipts, bank statements and other sensitive documents with hardware encryption and password protection for a double layer of data security. The drive locks down and re-formats after 10 failed login attempts, so users can rest assured that their data is safe even if the drive is lost or stolen. It features a durable metal casing to protect the drive from drops, bumps and knocks plus its built-in key loop makes it convenient to take your data anywhere. The cap fits on the back of the drive so it won’t get lost.

SuperSpeed™ (USB 3.0) delivers faster performance and it is backward compatible to previous generation. DataTraveler Locker+ G3 is easy for anyone to set up and easy to use. With no application installation required all the software and security needed is built in. It works on both Windows systems and Macs so users can access files from multiple systems, without installing a program on every computer used.

DataTraveler Locker+ G3 also offers cloud backup as an optional feature. Users can choose to automatically back up data from their DataTraveler Locker+ G3 to Google DriveTM, OneDrive (Microsoft®), Amazon Cloud Drive, Dropbox or Box, so if the drive is lost or stolen, their data is in a safe place. This feature is available for Windows only.

2) DataTraveler 4000 G2

DataTraveler 4000 G2 is FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified and provides a tamper-evident seal for physical security to detect and respond to attempts to access, use or modify the cryptographic module. Data is protected by hardware-based 256-bit AES encryption in XTS mode and the drive casing is made of titanium coated stainless steel. The drive is designed to reduce the possibility of successful brute force attacks as it locks down and reformats after 10 failed password attempts.

SuperSpeed (USB 3.0) technology means that users don’t have to compromise transfer speeds for security. Companies can add the drive to their standards list with confidence since its industry-leading NAND and controller design allow for NAND to be interchanged without requalification and certification of security features. The DataTraveler 4000 G2 is TAA compliant, to meet a frequently requested corporate and government IT requirement.

3) Kingston DataTraveler Privacy 3.0

Kingston’s DataTraveler® Vault Privacy 3.0 (DTVP 3.0) USB Flash drive provides affordable business-grade security with 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption using XTS block cipher mode, which offers stronger protection than CBC and ECB modes. It protects 100% of stored data and enforces complex password protection with minimum characteristics to prevent unauthorised access. For additional peace of mind, the drive locks down and reformats after 10 intrusion attempts. It also features a read-only access mode to avoid potential malware risks.

DTVP 3.0 is available with optional, easy-to-deploy anti-virus protection from ESET* that protects the drive’s content from viruses, spyware, Trojans, worms, rootkits, adware and other Internet-borne threats. The ESET NOD32® anti-virus engine provides instant alerts, requires no installation and comes with a five-year pre-activated licence.


The DTVP 3.0 Anti-Virus model features easy-to-deploy anti-virus protection from ESET2 that protects the drive’s content from viruses, spyware, Trojans, worms, rootkits, adware and other Internet-borne threats. The ESET NOD32® anti-virus engine provides instant alerts. This anti-virus protection requires no installation and comes with a five-year pre-activated licence.




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

Email: [email protected]


Common Mistakes Made When Ordering USB Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 10th September 2015 | Permalink

Printed USB Sticks

Printed USB memory sticks remain one of the most popular promotional giveaways, with millions being handed out every year in the UK alone. Whilst the majority of companies do plan ahead, there will always be the case where time is short (sometimes even just hours to deadline when we receive the order), and with this in mind, avoiding these common mistakes will help greatly with getting your order printed and dispatched with no delays.

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 the 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 a 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.

Vector Files
We know that it can be hard to source high quality images, but sadly saving a .jpg or .gif file as a vector file won’t help – all you do is create a low quality image that will result in a low quality print.

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 we have is to ‘best match’ the colours, which may not please your brand ambassador!

Please note that 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, so will delay the order slightly.

Lack of Availability
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. This is so you can sign off the proof, sign off any data that is being loaded onto the sticks, and finally to make payment. If you or another member of your team can’t be reached, it may delay things and you could miss your preferred delivery date.

Accessible 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 overnight 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 please 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.

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. We also 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.





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.