What’s Trending In The Promotional USB Memory Stick Market?

A few weeks into 2012 it’s worth taking a quick look at what the emerging trends are in the promotional USB memory stick market. Apart from the continued explosion in the sale of promotional USB sticks there are some interesting new sectors that are now adopting these products with gusto:

  • Professional Photographers have been surprising slow to make the move from supplying their clients with their photographs on CD/DVD to the now ubiquitous USB stick, but, it looks like this is all about to change in 2012.Towards the end of 2011 sales of printed USB flash drives to photographers started to gather pace and just a few weeks into 2012 what was a small trickle has become more of a steady stream – expectations are that this stream will become more of a torrent by late 2012.
  • The increasing adoption and falling prices of USB 3.0 flash drives with their much enhanced read/write speeds are also likely to contribute to the migration to flash drives.

    Photographers USB Memory Sticks Photographers USB Memory Sticks
  • The current memory size of choice is 1GB because this represents the best value/memory size combination but most flash memory chip manufacturers will stop production of 1GB and 2GB flash chips in 2012 leaving 4GB as the de facto choice. The good news is that prices of 4GB sticks are falling fast so we’ll pretty soon see 4GB sticks at the price you can buy 1GB’s today.
  • More “niche” uses for printed USB memory sticks will continue to emerge. We’ve already seen them used to celebrate birthdays, weddings and funerals, to store 4-D images of babies in the womb, to capture car and engine statistics from track days and to raise funds for charities and World Challenge days. Expect 2012 to deliver more surprise uses for flash drives.
  • In the face of growing supplier competition prices and lead times for printed USB memory sticks are likely to come under increasing pressure. Typical lead times at the end of 2011 and entering 2012 (excluding Chinese New Year holiday issues) were around 10-14 days. With growing demand for printed USB sticks in a 48hrs or less suppliers are being forced to react and consequently turnaround times are expected to reduce dramatically. We’re already seeing some suppliers now offer printed solutions in under 24hrs!
  • Fully customised USB sticks in the shape of a product or logo are finally expected to take off during 2012. For the past few years bespoke USB sticks have been on the cusp of breaking though into the mainstream but lengthy lead-times and high set-up costs have held them back. Custom USB sticks make a much bigger impact so as more companies discover them (and plan for them) they will take a bigger share of the overall USB market.

    Custom USB Sticks Custom USB Sticks

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