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  November 24, 2009

Top Ten Tips On Buying Promotional USB’s

Bulk Packaging

USB flash drives (sticks) are quite simply the most versatile and memorable item in the promotional gifts marketplace today. They allow you to pre-load information, giving the user quick and easy access to your latest catalogue or marketing campaign. I’d like to see a pen or mug do that…

But, what should you be looking for when buying promotional USB flash drive.

1. Quality
Make sure you choose a supplier who specialise in sticks and not a company offering everything. You’re looking to raise your profile, which will not be achieved by branding sub quality goods with your logo.

2. Marketing Message
A branded stick with your brochure or catalogue pre-loaded is a great way of getting your message across. In most cases we discourage the use of auto-run. It does not work on Mac’s and many administrators have blocked it.

3. Sales Vehicle
Using a stick as an incentive is a great way to get clients to buy a premium product. Alternatively it can be used as a bargaining tool for your sales staff. People love free gifts.

4. Speed
A good quality stick will have a minimum of 3MB/s writing speed and 15MB/s reading speed. Based on this a low quality 1GB stick would require approximately four minutes to fill up. A good quality one would take just under two minutes.

5. Packaging
A stylish gift box branded with your logo adds value to the stick. If you don’t have any specific packaging requirements we recommend using trays, which is more environmentally friendly.

6. Model
A professional supplier will be able to suggest a model to suit your requirements. Customising the shape or colour of the stick is a good way of making sure that you stand out from the crowd. A premium model may cost a little extra but will pay ultimately pay dividends.

7. Accessories
Adding a keyring or lanyard to the stick will allow the user to safely attach it to their person. Incorporating password protection is smart practice if sensitive information has been pre-loaded.

8. Branding
There are four types of branding which are commonly used, here are their pros and cons:
Silk Screen
Pros: cheap, quick lead times
Cons: can easily wear off on a keychain
Resin Dome
Pros: photographic quality, long lasting, short lead times
Cons: a bit more pricey
Engraving
Pros: long lasting, subtle and stylish
Cons: no colours
Tampo
Pros: can print on rounded surfaces
Cons: high volume required

9. Express Service
If you are regularly buying sticks it might be useful to consider a supplier who retains stock in the UK. They should offer an express service and delivery can be as fast as 24 hours nationwide.

10. Price
When you purchase sticks you’ll want to get value for money but a very cheap price often means poor quality. If you have any lingering doubts insist on seeing a sample. Memory prices can vary on a daily basis so make sure you get an updated quote before you place your order.

A note on quality:
A good quality stick should work perfectly for approximately 10,000 write/erase cycles, which is the equivalent of filling and emptying the stick once a day for 25 years. Fake or white chips as they are often referred to can start to suffer from the very first cycle and are more prone to error messages and very slow data transfer speeds.