Top 10 Tips For Buying USB Flash Drives Printed With Your Logo On

The phenomenal growth in the use of USB flash drives by the companies, schools, universities and the promotional sector continues unabated. Perhaps this should come as no surprise when you consider just how good printed USB flash drives look and how popular they are with the recipients. The fact that you can pre-load them with sales material, presentation files, media files, press releases etc. means that it is possible to offset the cost (or a large chunk of the costs) of buying them against the savings made in not printing or transporting lots of printed collateral around.

Our Top 10 tips for buying USB flash drives printed with your logo on are:

1. Think carefully about which style of USB flash drive is right for your company and more importantly your brand/logo: There are hundreds if not thousands of different designs of USB flash drives on the market, most are manufactured from plastic but there are also USB drives available manufactured from leather, metal, cardboard or wood. The most popular promotional USB flash drive is the “Twister” because its relatively small, it has no cap to lose and it comes in a wide range of colours and it looks great printed.

Just because the majority are buying the “Twister” don’t just accept this as the de facto option for your company. Think about who you are going to give them to. For example Leather USB flash drives go down well with high net worth clients because of their perceived value, metal flash drives are a little more rugged/robust so might be better suited for students and USB wristbands are great for the youth market.

Twister Flash Drives

2. Choose the right memory capacity: Many people just buy the cheapest memory sticks they can find, which invariably means a low capacity flash drive with say 64MB or 128MB of memory. The problem with this is that there is a balance between choosing flash memory capacity based on your budget versus a higher level of memory that makes the flash drive more appealing to the recipient.

If one of the reasons for buying the flash drives is to get brand exposure and/or loyalty from repeated usage then you’ll fail in this objective if you give away flash drives with very little storage on them This can be exacerbated if you pre-load and “lock” your own company data onto the flash drives and in doing so use up a large proportion of the available storage space. Its all about balance - there's no point paying for memory that you don't need for your own data but you want people to use the flash drives and promote your product or company effectively. A good size to aim for is a 1GB or 2GB.

Leather USB

3. Choose the right logo to print onto the USB Sticks: If your company logo is complex, contains graduated colours and/or tints then you choice of USB drive will be limited to those that can support full colour printing. Unless you are printing onto a USB credit card the print area you’ll be working with is relatively small. Its not unusual for complex logo’s to be simplified before being printed onto a USB drive – this can either be done by reducing the number of colours or supplying a version with solid colours rather than tones/tints.

4. Select the right printing option: Typically flash drives are “spot printed” but they can also be laser engraved or embossed. Another option that’s growing in popularity is to use “Dome Stickers” – these stickers are not to be confused with “cheap and cheerful” stickers. Dome stickers look fantastic and the print on the sticker is protected under a layer of resin.

USB Credit Cards

5. Have your artwork available in the right format: Don’t expect great looking printed USB drives to be produced from images “grabbed” from your web site or supplied in Jpeg format. To get a really good quality print you need to supply your artwork in the highest resolution possible and ideally in .EPS or .AI format.

6. Think about your packaging needs: The default option with many suppliers of branded USB flash drives is to supply the printed drives in bulk (in trays or polythene bags). Some will offer “free” or discounted options for other gift box and most will offer a premium range of boxes including tin presentation boxes or frosted plastic boxes with magnetic clasps (both of which can be printed)

7. Do you need any accessories: Keyrings, carabineers and lanyards are a great option to “add value” to your printed USB flash drives by making it more them easier to carry.  Lanyards or carabineers can also be printed up to increase your brand exposure and if ordered at the same time as your flash drives will only add pennies to the unit cost.


8. Define your timeframes very clearly: Its critical that you both allow enough time for your USB drives and make it clear to any supplier exactly when you must have the drives delivered. The typical lead time for printed USB drives is 10 working days so use this as a general rule of thumb and ideally allow a couple of extra days to be on the safe side.

Some suppliers will offer a “rush” service where they print onto stock held locally but you will typically pay more for this and reduce your design options.

9. Cheapest isn’t always the best: If you get a quote for printed flash drives that seems “cheap” in comparison to others you may have had then make sure make sure the prices you are being quoted are for new, Grade A chips and not re-cycled or Grade B chips. Recycled, Grade B chips tend to be slower and have a much great failure rate which will reflect badly on your brand

10. Get references: In the highly competitive world of printed USB flash drives lots of companies “appear overnight” and claim to be experts. The reality is that they’re out to make a 'quick buck' from unsuspecting customers so don't be afraid to ask for testimonials from companies they have supplied to. Pre and post sales support from designated account managers will help to ensure that whole process runs smoothly and you are provided with the correct information from the outset. Remember that guarantees on products are worthless if the company is not around to honour them.

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