Branded Memory Sticks – Looking Forward to 2010

Branded Memory Sticks have quickly established themselves as one of the key promotional items in the Sales & Promotion sector. Their popularity stems from several key factors including their inherent usefulness, their ability to carry a brand or logo extremely well, their small, portable size and their cost. Coupled with this the typical repeated used of the product ensures good brand promotion and visibility and the ability to load sales data and media files onto the memory stick helps justify their use.

Twister USB

As marketing and advertising budgets in a “post economic meltdown world” were slashed the demand for branded memory sticks and printed USB flash drives continued unabated. The early predictions of “doom and gloom” in the sector failed to materialise and although there have been periods of price volatility throughout the year this has not dissuaded customers from pushing ahead with their projects.

Towards the end of 2009 several key trends emerged which are likely to continue into 2010:

Custom USB Custom Memory Sticks also referred to as bespoke USB flash drives will become more popular because the historic minimum order quantities and relatively high initial tooling and mould set-up costs have been all but removed. As a result it is now possible to get a fully customised USB memory stick in a shape/design that is unique to your company, brand or product for pretty much the same price that you would pay for a simple printed memory stick
Twister USB Twister USB Sticks will continue to dominate the branded range of memory sticks. During 2009 the cap less “twister” style of memory stick accounted for over 60% of all orders where a standard factory design/mould was used. In 2010 their on-going dominance looks assured not least because its now possible to pantone match the body colour of the twister memory stick to any primary colour from a design/logo.
USB Photo-quality Printing Photo Quality Printing is now possible on many branded memory sticks and for very little additional cost. Historically it was only possible to “spot print” onto a memory stick and you paid for each colour printed. This was not only expensive but ruled out many complex logos or designs. Today many factories offer full photographic reproduction and with costs tumbling its likely this will become the de facto standard in future.
Low Quantities Smaller Print Runs of 50 pieces or less are now much more affordable bringing printed USB memory sticks into the reach of many smaller companies. The willingness of factories to support smaller batches of printed sticks is also likely to see them used for smaller conferences and seminars.
Price Volatility Continued Price Volatility will make it difficult to forward predict prices or get firm quotes that last more than a few days. Because the factories price in $ (USD) companies buying from outside of the US need to factor in exchange rate fluctuations plus supply/demand price related increases on the core flash memory components. Good advice is to try and avoid the Chinese New Year period and the run up to Christmas when the volatility is at its worst.

The one thing that does seem clear it that branded and promotional USB drives are going to be with us for sometime to come and that their popularity continues to grow. As far as memory sticks are concerned it seems that you can’t get too much of a good thing!

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