Bespoke Flash Drives – Any Shape, Any Colour, Any Style

During 2010 bespoke flash drives have really come of age and more and more companies and universities are choosing them over standard branded flash drives that are simply printed up with a logo.

When you see bespoke (or fully customised) USB flash drives “in the flesh” its easy to see why their popularity has grown so significantly – they are eye catching, fun, memorable and above all they make a real impact when given out.

Bespoke Flash Drives

They are typically fabricated in a unique shape for the customer and they are usually produced in a shape that represents a particular product of brand, e.g. vehicles, fruit, cartoon characters, bottles, barrels, cans and so on.

The historic drawback with bespoke flash drives was the high tooling and set-up costs combined with long lead times and disappointing results. All of this is history now because the set up costs have been reduced to next to nothing and the lead times are a manageable 3-4 weeks. Not only this but with more factories now competing for the custom USB business the overall standards of production have improved dramatically.

If you are considering bespoke flash drives for your next event or show (and they are a great idea) then here’s a few things to consider:

  1. Firstly be clear what a bespoke flash drive is. It is not a standard "factory owned" design that is printed with your brand or logo printed on. A bespoke drive, just like a bespoke tailored suit is manufactured specifically for you and you will "own" the finished design.
  2. Pretty much any 2-D or 3-D shape can be produced so don't be afraid to ask for what might seem impossible but it’s a good idea to have some concept or shape in mind.
  3. There are lots of different material and finishes to choose from with the most popular being plastic, PVC, ABS, Silicon, PET, rubber and wood. If you’re not sure what’s going to be best for you then ask your supplier for samples of other jobs they have produced.
  4. Build in sufficient lead times – all bespoke products by their very nature take longer than “off the peg” products

    Custom USB Bride

    so its important you allow around 4 weeks in your project plan for the design and manufacture. This will give you enough time for the development of the concept, the initial design and the fabrication of samples for approval.

  5. Get a physical sample – working from photo’s is “ok” but its recommended that you get and allow enough time for a physical sample of the bespoke flash drive before the final production run.
  6. Don’t compromise on the grade of flash memory that’s 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. Insist on Grade A chips.
  7. Choose a supplier that has experience of producing bespoke flash drive. There are plenty of companies around offering “standard printed sticks” but very few have any experience in bespoke flash drives and you will need a supplier that has in-house design support to help you develop the concepts you’re your flash drive and produce the 3-D drawing for the factory to work from.

Bespoke flash drives do require a little more effort and a little more time and to be fair they will be marginally more expensive than standard flash drive but done well they really do deliver a “wow” factor that a standard memory sticks just can’t match.

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