Posted by USB2U on 9th October 2009 | Permalink
Are you in the marketing / promotional market? Are you looking to differentiate your existing offering, to add real value, increase the income you get from existing customers or attracting new customers….then why not consider becoming a reseller of USB Branded Memory sticks.
So what are the benefits of offering Custom USB Memory sticks?
- Branded USB Memory sticks are a unique way to get a client’s brand and content to end users in a simply and cost effective way.
- Branded USB Memory sticks are now in the mainstream, so if you are not in the market you could be losing out to your competitors.
- Customised USB memory sticks are quick and easy to manufacturer and have an intrinsic value associated with them. By adding a small margin you have the potential for a supplementary new income stream.
- If you are new to promotional market Branded USB can be an excellent launch product.
How can you offer Branded USB Memory sticks?
There are two main ways of offering Branded Memory sticks to your customers.
Option 1 – Buying direct from the Far East.
The vast majority of Branded USB Memory sticks come from China and Taiwan. The advantage of buying direct is that you can cut out the middleman and make more margin. However there are many risks associated with this.
- Far East suppliers will want their money upfront, before starting any production. So you will have cash flow gap to fund as most clients will pay on delivery or on credit terms.
- If you have not undertaken careful due diligence on the supplier base you could be risking the quality of the goods that are sent or at worst you may never see any goods!
- The Promotional USB manufacturing process is complex and is riddled with many potential issues that can really cost you from both a reputational and financial perspective.
- Customs, duty, VAT will all need accounting for.
- Post sales support must be provided – so what happens if memory sticks need replacing? Sending Branded USB back to the Far East is a difficult, costly and time consuming process.
Option 2 – Buying from a UK provider.
The good news is that there is an easier and lower risk option. By contracting with a reputable UK supplier they will take all of the problems and risk away from you. They will also manage the time consuming element of the Branded USB manufacturing process, leaving you to manage the customer relationship.
The cost may not be that different from dealing direct, as the larger providers will able to demand great economies of scales.
Finding a reputable UK supplier of Branded Memory Sticks
There are many suppliers providing Branded USB Memory Sticks. As with any industry the quality of the organisations varies widely. Whilst normal due diligence is always required, here are a few tips to help you with the process:
- It is always good practice to run a credit check to make sure your supplier is in good financial health. This is more important if you are being asked to pay upfront for the Branded USB Memory sticks.
- Reputation speaks volumes. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and testimonials from their existing customer base and make contact. If they have provided excellent service levels, they will not be embarrassed to share their successes.
- Make sure there are full contact details on the web site including address and contact telephone numbers – and phone them!
- Ensure they are working from a business premises. There is a growing trend for individuals pertaining to be companies are working from home without the infrastructure to support you if things go wrong. An easy way to check this is by using Google Earth.
Posted by USB2U on 1st October 2009 | Permalink
The University of Northampton, specifically the Northampton Business School at the University, required a uniquely branded USB Memory Stick to promote the Higher Education Alliance (HEA) within the university.
The University of Northampton Higher Education Alliance (HEA) was established to bring together the University and staff from all regional educational establishments, to provide a forum for the discussion and sharing of best practice regarding the University’s guidance activity.
The aim of the USB Memory Stick was to provide students with an incentive to complete feedback on their distant learning programmes. The prerequisite was to provide an incentive that was both compelling, relevant and useful for students.
As there is no permanent storage area on the University network for students, the USB Memory Stick would be an extremely useful tool, allowing students to store, back up and transport important coursework.
The University undertook a tender process and the normal due diligence checks. We were delighted that they selected USB2u to supply Branded USB memory sticks, not least because we are practically neighbours.
Sebastian La Porta, Sales Director for USB2U, explained “We were delighted to be trusted with the University’s important project. We were particularly pleased that the University were able to support a local business. We have delivered many hundreds of successful projects for universities across the UK, but the team were particularly pleased to be working for our own local university.”
Dr David Burnapp (Senior Lecturer) was a very strong advocate for the project as student feedback is of the utmost importance. The dual-sided branding on the USB memory sticks ensures that it not only represents the University, but also the HEA.
“We were delighted with the high quality of the goods and level of support that we received from USB2U. Whilst they won the order on our standard selection criteria, it was particularly pleasing to place this with a local and established business.”
USB2U is a leading supplier of promotional USB memory sticks, branded USB flash Drives, custom USB sticks and USB pens printed with your logo on. In fact we can supply and print pretty much anything that has a USB connector on it.
We’ve been supplying branded USB memory sticks since 2002 so you’re in safe hands. Our customers range from small local schools to some of the largest multinational companies on the planet. Irrespective of how big or small you are we’ll strive to give you unbeatable prices coupled with a fast and efficient service. Contact us [email protected].
Posted by USB2U on 30th September 2009 | Permalink
The most progressive schools understand that USB Memory sticks are an ideal vehicle to allow pupils and staff to store and transport at school and between home and school.
So what are the major advantages for school who embrace Branded USB Memory sticks:
- It reduces the cost of printing and transporting paper, so its environmentally friendly.
- Allows staff to take school information and pupil coursework home to work on, make changes / mark and upload to the school network.
- Pupils can back up coursework that they complete at home or at school as a safety net.
- The USB Memory sticks can be branded with the school logo to add greater affinity with the school.
- Passwords can be added to the Customised Memory sticks so if the data is sensitive it can be made secure.
- Data can be loaded and protected on the Branded USB Memory sticks. So the school could consider providing all the standard school docs, e.g. school term dates, policies, link to web sites etc.
- A unique serial number can be printed to the side of the Branded USB Memory stick to allow any lost memory sticks to be easily reunited with their owner.
- A strip can also be added to the Branded USB Memory stick so users can add their names.
With the current scrutiny of school budgets and horror stories in the media of poor procurement from schools / LEAs, what should you consider when purchasing Branded USB memory sticks.
- Try to obtain three quotes from established UK suppliers
- Ensure that you are offered a line of credit, you should not ne required to make any upfront payments.
- A free sample of the proposed USB Memory stick should be requested.
- Ensure that the chips in the Branded Memory sticks are new and not recycled or reconditioned.
- Consider contacting other local schools and purchasing a larger order with different logos, as economies of scale would definitely drive the price down.
- Explore getting a local company to sponsor the production of the memory sticks and in return you can add their logo / contact details to the back.
- Parents may be willing to make a contribution to the Custom Memory Stick so they can become cost neutral.
The benefits of Branded USB Memory sticks combined with pupils appetite for new technology has lead to many leading schools embracing USB Memory Sticks as an essential tool for learning.
Posted by USB2U on 23rd September 2009 | Permalink
Love may well make the world go around but the Twister USB Memory Stick seems to have been taken to the heart of the promotions and marketing industry.
Over 50% of all orders for branded and promotional USB Memory sticks are for the humble twister model. Given the breadth of USB memory sticks on offer this is some achievement. On initial inspection it’s hard to see why this fairly plain memory stick has become the preferred choice for so many but there are some key elements to the design that make it a real winner.
- It’s available in a huge range of colours and the body shell can be pantone matched relatively easily and inexpensively. Matching the body colour of the Twister to one of the primary colours in your logo or brand really lifts the overall look of the final product.
- There’s no cap to lose! The twisting metal casing (hence the name) protects the USB connector from accidental damage but also means there is no cap to lose.
- It’s relatively small. The Twister is a compact USB Memory Stick so it’s easy to carry, and store.
- It’s tough. The combination of the metal case and the rubberised body make it a particularly tough memory stick.
- It’s easy to print on and its one of the few memory sticks that you can print a true 4 colour process onto. So real “photo-effect” finishes are possible making it the ideal choose if you have a complex brands or logos to reproduce.
Twister USB Memory Sticks
- Prefer laser engraving – no problem! The metal case can be laser engraved if you prefer.
- Integrated loop for a lanyard – if you want to connect a lanyard or key ring to your branded memory stick then again it’s easy with the Twister because the design of the metal “twister” part incorporates this.
- Cost – the simplicity of the design coupled with its popularity means its one of the least expensive memory sticks so if you are working on a tight budget it’s a great choice without having to compromise on the quality or look of the product.
- Available in a range of boxes (which can also be printed) or bulk supplied.
- Pretty much always available for 48hr delivery from UK stock
Posted by USB2U on | Permalink
There is a real growth in the demand for custom USB Memory sticks but for many the world of promotional memory sticks, branded memory sticks, printed memory sticks and custom USB memory sticks is all a bit of a mystery. To help you understand what they are and how to go about ordering them here’s our top 10 tips:
- Understand what a customised memory stick is. They should not be confused with standard “factory owned” designs that simply have your brand or logo printed onto them. A custom USB Memory stick is manufactured specifically for you and you will “own” the finished design.
custom usb bride
- Typically custom USB memory sticks are manufactured in a 2 dimensional or 3 dimensional shapes to represent your brand, product or in a shape that works with your advertising and marketing campaign. Pretty much anything can be manufactured so don’t be afraid to ask for what might seem impossible. Custom sticks in the shape of bottles, cans, fruits, cars, forklifts, footballs, baseballs, cartoon characters, badges, poker chips, bullets and even tampons have been manufactured.
- Choose your material – Custom USB Memory sticks can be manufactured from a range of materials including but not limited to plastic, PVC, ABS, Silicon, PET, rubber, wood, leather and metal. If in any doubt ask your supplier and get some samples so you can feel/see how the material influences the finished product. Be aware that for some intricate designs the factories may not be able to manufacture them in all of the materials available.
- Be clear in your brief to your supplier. Most good suppliers will have their own in-house design team and be able to work up concepts and ideas for you and they should be willing to do this free of charge. The requirement on you is to articulate what you want, how its going to be used and to provide some context. If your supplier is expecting you to deliver a finished design and drawing for the factory to work from then they are probably best avoided. There are experts in the field of custom USB memory sticks so work with one of these.
- Allow sufficient time. Ideally your supplier is going to need around 4 weeks to deliver your custom USB memory sticks so factor this into your project plan. This time allows for the development of the concept, the completion of design drawings and mocks ups for approval, a physical sample, modifications and the final delivery.
- Insist on a physical sample. Whilst photographs from the factory of the manufactured custom sticks are “ok” they are no substitute for seeing and handling the real thing. Your supplier should also be keen to do this for you, as they will want you to approve the production against a real sample.
- Make sure the right grade of flash memory is being used. Grade A memory chips are new and give you access to the full amount of advertised memory on the Chip. All other grades of memory chip make less of the advertised memory available for use and in some cases are re-cycled. In other words they are memory chips taken out of used kit or recovered from USB sticks that have failed the build QA process. If you end up with anything other than Grade A memory chips you are likely to experience a higher failure rate, you won’t be able to store as much information on the stick as expected and its possible you’ll overpay for what you’re getting. Always check with your supplier that they are using Grade A memory chips.
custom usb sticks
- Choose the right memory capacity for your project. There’s no point going to all the trouble of getting your own custom USB memory sticks designed and manufactured and then skimping on the memory. Typical memory sizes used today are 1GB but there is a trend towards 2GB as the price differential between the two capacities drops.
- RoHS Compliance – although the memory sticks are being manufactured for you and not for general sale they still need to be RoHS compliant. RoHS stands for the Restriction of Hazardous Substances and it applies to thousands of electrical and computer parts and components imported into the EU. This is EU Legislation and you must comply with it. Finding out you have imported non-RoHS compliant products and then pushing the blame back to your supplier won’t wash. The fines are significant so ensure you ask the right questions and get copies of RoHS certificates.
- Choose the right supplier/partner. Lots of companies offer standard printed and promotional USB memory sticks but far fewer have any experience in the delivery of custom USB memory sticks. If in any doubt ask for references, get samples and read up on any cases studies. A custom USB memory stick requires time, energy and money so don’t waste any of these valuable resources.
Posted by USB2U on 22nd September 2009 | Permalink
Just as the biro and ruler are a key part of any students basic stationery set today no self-respecting student goes to school without a USB Memory stick in their bag and typically several. In fact many schools, colleges and universities mandate the use of memory sticks and list them on the “essential kit list” for parents.
The rise of the humble USB memory stick to near global domination of the personal data storage market is with good reason too. Memory sticks are lightweight, portable, inexpensive, easy to use and yet extremely powerful. USB Memory sticks enable students and teachers to save and transport homework, coursework, reference papers, video files, etc. quickly and efficiently.
Whilst much of a students work does still eventually get printed the use of a memory stick to save work electronically has nevertheless reduced dramatically the amount of paper printed and carried by pupils and teachers alike.
Universities have also realised the USB Memory sticks can be used to recruit new students. Memory sticks printed with the Universities logo and preloaded with the university prospectus have become one of the “hot” ideas of 2009. Not only do these memory sticks portray the university as an innovative, forward thinking institution but by loading the stick with video tours, and other supplementary information they reduce the need to print paper flyers, brochures, advice sheets etc. Students can now be supplied with everything they need to know about the school/university on one small memory stick!
Commercially savvy bursars and administrators have also started to order memory sticks with the school crest/logo on and to resell these to the students to generate an additional revenue stream. Combining branded USB memory sticks with the traditional “school portrait” preloaded onto the disk is another of the more innovative directions that some schools are taking. We watch with interest to see what other ideas the schools come up with.
If you’re looking for branded USB memory sticks for your school or university please give us a call or fill out the enquiry form on our website. We offer some terrific discounts and deals to educational institutions and of course we provide credit terms on all orders. We’ve already supplied tens of thousands of memory sticks to schools and universities in the UK over the last 7 years so you’re in safe hands.
Posted by USB2U on | Permalink
We’re getting an increasing number of requests from customers for data loading onto branded and promotional USB memory sticks. It’s a trend that’s been developing for a couple of years now as more and more people realise the real benefit if preloading data onto the sticks.
The simple act of printing your logo or brand on a USB memory stick will create a fantastic promotional tool that will well received by anyone its given to. It will help develop and promote your brand and because USB memory sticks are used your brand will stay in the mind of the recipient.
But if you give-away Promotional USB sticks without preloading data onto them you might be missing a trick. Lets face it the memory sticks are fundamentally designed to store and carry data so you might as well use some of the memory you are paying for you load up your catalogues, power point presentations, flash presentation or a pop-up link to your company website(s)
Preloading data can be time consuming but if you’ve got your data ready when you place your order we can get the data loaded for you during the manufacturing process. Even if your data is not ready until closer to the delivery data we are still able to offer a competitive post-manufacture data loading service. You just supply us the data and we’ll take care of the rest.
There are several options to consider when it comes to data loading:
Standard Preload – A standard pre-load just is where we copy your data/files onto your promotional USB drives. Users can access the content at will but they can also delete the files if they don’t want them.
Pros: The data is not intrusive meaning the memory stick is more likely to be used leading to a higher retention value and thus more exposure of your logo/brand.
Cons: The user can easily delete any preloaded files.
In some circumstance it might be appropriate to ensure that data loaded onto your USB memory sticks cannot be removed/deleted. Providing the data is supplied and loaded by us during the manufacturing process then this is not a problem.
During manufacture the memory on the USB Sticks will be “split” (partitioned) into two parts. Onto one section the protected data is loaded leaving the other section blank and available to the user to store/delete their own data.
Pros: Your data/files are always there and available to the user ensuring continuous and on-going exposure and data retention.
Cons: Users cannot delete data from the protected area of the disk to free up extra space. You also have to have the data ready when placing the order because its only possible to protect the data and partition the memory stick during the manufacturing process.
Autorun files do as they suggest – as soon as the USB memory stick is used it will launch a presentation or application. Typical examples would be a flash presentation, a browser with a dynamic link to your website or any other type of executable file that can be autorun in Windows. The autorun files cannot be deleted and as such they are not particularly popular with the recipients because they do become annoying after a while.
Pros: They’re a great way to get information about your company, your products and your brand “in the face” of the user.
Cons: Typically deemed as intrusive, a little annoying and as such retention value is impacted. They also sometime won’t work on older PC’s with Windows 98 or some networked PC’s.
If you’re not sure whether preloading files would be right for you or which type of preloading would be appropriate for your branded USB memory sticks then give us a call and we’ll talk you through the options in more detail.
Posted by USB2U on 21st September 2009 | Permalink
Many young Chinese workers live and work in cities, whilst many of their relatives remain in their ancestral towns / villages. With such a vast country, returning home can take many hours, if not days. This coupled with increased prosperity and disposable income has resulted in national holidays taking on greater importance.
So why would this impact on Branded USB Memory sticks? In short, the vast majority of Promotional USB Memory sticks are manufactured in the Far East, in particular China. This includes all the component manufacturers such as flash chip suppliers and the assembly / finishing factories.
On the run up to a major holiday, chip manufacturer start to slow and stop production. This in return results in a shortage of supply and increase in prices prior to and for a short period after the holiday.
The leadtime for delivery is also increased as factories and couriers will shut over the holiday period. This delay is compounded by backlogs that are built up at Chinese Customs, which can add several days to the delivery.
So what can you do to protect yourself? Firstly try to order ahead of major holidays (see list below) and if this is not possible look for a provider that holds UK stock of USB Memory Sticks, such as USB2U.
Below are listed the Public Holidays for the September 2009-December 2010 period.
1-3 Oct National Day.
3 Oct Mid-Autumn Festival.
1 Jan New Year.
14-16 Feb Spring Festival, Chinese New Year.
5 Apr Qing Ming (Tomb Sweeping) Festival.
1-3 May Labour Day.
16 Jun Dragon Boat Festival.
22 Sep Mid-Autumn Festival.
1-3 Oct National Day.
In addition to the above, other holidays may be observed locally and certain groups have official Public Holidays on the following dates:
8 Mar International Women’s Day.
4 May National Youth Day.
23 May Tibet Liberation Day.
1 Jun International Children’s Day.
1 Aug Army Day.
Posted by USB2U on 17th September 2009 | Permalink
USB Memory sticks were the classic “early adopter” product, the preserve of the “geek” or the “techie” that was willing to pay top dollar for first generation products simply because they “had to have them”.
Back in 2002 when USB memory sticks started to make their way into the consumer market they were very much a novelty, albeit an expensive novelty with a typical memory stick only offering 16MB or 32MB of storage.
Fast forward 7 years and today a typical USB memory stick has a memory of around 4GB but costs a fraction of the tiny 16MB’s that were on offer at the start of the decade. As a result USB Memory sticks are everywhere and used by everyone from kids in the junior school to executives of global companies. They are easy to use, they’re incredibly handy, they’re light and portable and people can’t seem to get enough of them.
These facets make them an ideal choice as a marketing and promotional tool. Lets face it the objective of any promotional product that carries your company’s brand is to get your company or your product remembered. If it is unable to do this simple thing then the marketing money spent on it is likely to be wasted.
Ask any professional advertising or PR company and they will universally agree that the best way to make your company and/or event memorable is to use promotional items that are useful to your target audience.
A common mistake is to try and use a niche product that very tightly focussed towards you customer or audience, e.g. writing pens for journalists, golf umbrellas for a business audience, mouse mats or bags for a more “techie” crowd. The best promotional gifts are those, which have the widest appeal and are likely to have some real use and endurance.
It’s for this reason that branded USB Memory sticks make a truly excellent choice as a promotional give away. Everyone you give it to will be delighted to receive one and will almost certainly use it.
If you’re looking to go the extra mile and really make an impact then you might want consider a custom or bespoke
custom usb memory stick
version. Custom USB memory sticks are manufactured in a 2-D or 3-D shape or design that reflects your company’s products or brand. The USB Memory Stick then becomes unique to you. Pretty much any design/shape is possible and the end results really do look fantastic and create a “wow” factor with the recipients.
Custom USB memory sticks are a little more expensive but this additional cost (most of which is a one-off costs and is for the mould set-up) is more than recouped by the improved performance of the product in terms of brand development and recall.
Posted by USB2U on 16th September 2009 | Permalink
The Chinese National Holiday (1st – 8th October) is nearly upon us. Over this period we can not manufacture or ship Branded USB Memory Sticks from our factories in the Far East. The main USB Flash manufactures have already stopped production and as a result there has been a dramatic increase in prices.
Historically, there are customs delays when the holiday is over, which extends the deliver timeframe.
So if you require any USB Branded Memory sticks for early Oct, then please ensure you place your order by the 23rd Sept latest.
We do hold some limited UK stock which we can print within 48hrs.
Please phone 01604 685040 or email [email protected] to discuss your requirements.