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Promotional USB Flash Drives: A Glance at Classic Models

Since its arrival in the technology age, USB flash drives have been transformed into many shapes and sizes. For example, key chains, credit card, wristband, key shapes, custom objects and much more. However there’s nothing as simple and sobering as a classic USB design to enhance your branding experience. Classic USB flash drives are the most used storage drives of all times. These are typically of two types: Twister USB flash drive and Classic Style USB drive.

Twister USB drives contains a metal clip, which you can easily pivot, making it impossible to lose a cap like most standard USB styles. The good thing about these drives is there is no cap to lose, its convenient, durable and best of all economical for any budget. The pivoting metal clip displays your logo on one or either sides while providing a powerful and effective storage device for the clients. While the Classic Style USB drive is simple yet sophisticated and has a loop built into the shell casing to attach any accessory. The shell casing is constructed of hard plastic. Like Twister USB model, your logo can be imprinted on either side of the drive to best suit any promotional project. Both models are easily available in different storage options at very economical pricing. You can even purchase them online through a trusted dealer.

Request a Quote today and see how affordable this branding solution can be for your next promotional event.

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Promotional Power Banks: A Mobile Phone Accessory That Can’t Be Overlooked

Promotions are considered as one of the safest methods to brand your organization/company. There are ways to start your promotional campaigns but it takes courage to truly get to where you wanted. The only ideology to get succeed in promotional product is picking up the item that matters to customers. Pen, notepad, key ring, mouse pad are some common products used in promotional marketing. However these items are not much successful today as these were once. At present, people love to receive accessories and gadgets that’s the reason why most companies are now selecting their promotional items accordingly. One such accessory is a mobile Power Bank.

With a power bank, you are able to enhance the experience of people who own smartphones. Now they can leave the house without worrying if they have a full battery or low battery. They can charge anywhere and anytime they want. Having such features, the power banks offer security, reliance, and value to smartphones. This highly useful promotional product helps you achieve your promotional objective as a business. You can buy these promotional power banks online, as there are tons of suppliers that help you get the job done. Personalize with your company logo, tagline and distribute among your customers and let it builds your brand well.

Request a Quote today and see how affordable this branding solution can be for your next promotional event.

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Replace your bulky Wallets with Trendy Custom Cell Phone Wallets

It is said that you can judge anyone’s personality by their wallet, the way they keep their money and cards it all speak for a man’s personality. Even though there is not much to carry but there are still some essentials, which are needed by people and they need a traditional wallet for that. Keeping some extra cards and cash could make your wallet bulky and nobody likes to carry a bulky wallet. To overcome this situation you can replace your traditional wallet with new fancy cell phone wallets. These cases will combine the wallet with a case for your phone. You will have all your useful stuff in one place.

There are lots of people who forget where they have placed their wallets but remember their phones. The primary advantage of using a cell phone wallet is you will always be attentive towards your phone as well as wallet and vice-versa. It will also help in protecting your phone from wear and tear. Custom phone wallets are discreet, compact and can hold the essential cards you need instead of your entire wallet. These wallets are made up of silicone or leather and are strong enough to hold your items. Custom cell phone wallets have one more advantage over traditional cell phone wallets i.e. you can use them as promotional products too. You can print your company’s name and logo and gift it to your clients. So you should go and buy these trendy custom cell phone wallets from a reliable supplier.

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Fidget Spinners Soaring in Promo Popularity

custom fidget spinners

By John Corrigan
Published in Promogram

Reinventing the wheel has led to fidget spinners becoming a highly profitable viral sensation. Marketed as a comforting aide for those with ADHD and anxiety, the mesmerizing spinning widget, made in a variety of shapes and designs, has captured the imagination of children and the wallets of their parents. On Amazon, 18 of the top 20 best-selling toys and games are currently fidget spinners, and in the promotional products industry, suppliers are hustling to meet the demand.

“The fidget craze is happening everywhere – at every show I attended in Asia, every booth had endless versions of design, quality, pricing and functionality for this fidget frenzy,” Scott Pearson, executive vice president of Top 40 supplier Logomark (asi/67866), told Counselor earlier this month. “Although the original design has been around for years, these spinners are now flying off the shelves at 7-11s and will saturate the promotional market over the next six months.”

Since February, there has been exponential growth (4,064%) in ESP keyword searches for the words “fidget” or “spinner.” There were 226 searches in February for “fidget cube,” a desk toy consisting of buttons, dials and switches that was the result of a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $6.4 million. Searches increased 762% to 2,153 in March, and jumped up 337% to 9,411 in April.

“In general, the fidget spinners have done very well and Prime immediately committed to millions of units of inventory and versions for customers,” says Jeff Lederer, CEO of Top 40 supplier Prime Line (asi/79530). The company has traditionally sold fidgets of all sorts including the Tangle, Rubik’s cube and Promopopper as part of its Fun Zone by Prime collection. But with the help of social media, through which teachers have complained about the product’s distracting presence, this current iteration has burst into the mainstream consciousness.

“Any time there is a new product to be excited about, we are happy,” says Jason Robbins, CEO of Top 40 distributor ePromos Promotional Products Inc. (asi/188515). “We see the spinner craze as an exciting opportunity to meet the needs of our large customer base and generate new clients by being a knowledgeable provider.”

Chris Faris, president and CEO of Boost Promotions (asi/142942), says that he has been working on several large projects related to fidget spinners over the past few weeks. “We have been supplying them to our corporate and retail clients,” Faris says. “The retail clients buy hundreds of thousands at a time. Some of their suppliers haven’t been able to get them, which opened up the door even more for us.”

According to data management and analysis firm 1010data, the amount of online sales generated by fidget spinners in April was 55 times greater than the product’s total sales in January. Between January and February, the search volume for “fidget spinner” across major retailers like Amazon.com and Walmart.com quadrupled. By the end of April, “fidget spinner” had more than 25 million searches.

“The way I see it,” Robbins says, “stress balls had a huge run, and I believe spinners with a similar price point and size have the potential to have a long run.”

Request a Quote to order your custom fidget spinners at USB Canada.

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Samsung continues to dominate global NAND flash memory market

As you may know, the NAND flash memory chip was originally introduced by none other than Toshiba, but since its birth, the industry’s landscape has transformed dramatically: namely, Samsung has emerged as the market leader, and according to the latest data, it looks as though that trend is going to continue for the time being.

According to DRAMeXchange, Samsung reached a whopping $14.151 billion in NAND flash memory sales alone last year. That’s a significant lead since Toshiba – coming in second place – saw a total of $7.898 billion. Overall, the South Korean electronics giant saw its sales increase by 34 percent compared to the year before whereas Toshiba saw a decent 18.4 percent increase.

Now this is a trend that we’ve been seeing over a year now: the gap started to really appear towards the end of 2015, especially during Q4 when Toshiba’s total sales decreased, and Samsung sold almost double the amount of that Toshiba did. But what’s particularly impressive with last year’s figures is that the gap between these two companies had never exceeded $6 billion. Samsung has come a long way since 2013 when it first started the mass production of 3D NAND flash memories – a technology that Toshiba has been struggling with.

The general consensus amongst market analysts is that Samsung will continue to dominate global NAND flash memory sales, but Toshiba may have a plan of its own. Since early this year, rumors started circulating regarding Toshiba’s plan to sell a minority stake in its chip business in order to alleviate its financial problems. Some predict that Western Digital Corp might be a potential buyer, and these two companies’ combined shares could exceed that of Samsung. Of course, there are antitrust laws, and the process of the buyout – if Western Digital Corp is even interested – would take a very long time, but either way, Toshiba’s sale of its chip business is expected to be completed by early 2018. Though Samsung’s growth seems unstoppable, with Toshiba’s chip business soon to be spun off, the industry may see yet another shift soon.

source: – Android Authority
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Canadian GDP Increased 0.4% in November

gdp increased

Statistics Canada, the country’s central statistical office, announced on January 31 that Real GDP increased 0.4% between October and November, to C$1.69 trillion (about $1.29 trillion U.S.), as a result of strengthening manufacturing and construction levels, as well as natural resource development. Economists at the Royal Bank of Canada had initially expected an increase of 0.3%.

GDP increased 1.6% in November 2016, compared to the same month in 2015. Statistics Canada also revised October’s GDP decline to 0.2%, from an earlier estimate of 0.3%.

GDP growth in November was due in large part to higher manufacturing output. After a 1.7% fall in October, production rose 1.4% in November, the largest increase in the previous five months. Output increased 0.6% on a year-over-year comparison.

Jamie McCabe, president of McCabe Promotional Advertising (asi/264901), says his company’s clients have been eager to buy the Canadian-made goods they’re offering this year for Canada 150. His company has already increased year-over-year sales by 30%. “One of our strategies leading up to the sesquicentennial was to research and develop a robust offering of made-in-Canada goods,” he says. “The reaction from our client base has been phenomenal. The timing was serendipitous with Trump’s potential changes within NAFTA, and we’ll continue to research and grow our collections.”

Canadian construction activity grew 1.1%, after falling 0.6% in October. Mining and energy extraction, particularly oil and gas, grew 1.4% in November thanks to increased activity in the Alberta oil sands, as well as in iron ore and potash. This follows a 0.5% decrease the previous month.

Goods-producing industries grew 0.9% between October and November, while the services sector grew 0.2%, and the finance and insurance industry rose 1.5% – its best month-over-month growth in almost two years. Retail trade also grew 0.7% in November.

However, the country saw contraction in the wholesale and real estate markets, which fell 0.2% from October, its first month-to-month decline since 2014. Statistics Canada ascribed the decrease to new mortgage-lending policies put into effect in mid-October in order to rein in the housing market. It reports that activity among real estate agencies and brokerages fell 6.2% between October and November.

The utilities market also declined by 3% month-over-month, due to unseasonably warm weather in the western part of the country.

While the numbers look promising, some economists are preaching caution. “Overall, the drag on the economy from the oil price slump has finally faded, but the decline in real estate is a sign that the nascent housing downturn represents a new drag on economic growth,” Paul Ashworth, chief North American economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a research note. “It also remains to be seen whether the Trump administration’s policies will be a positive (via fiscal stimulus) or negative (border adjustment, protectionism) for Canada.”

Promotional products professionals are also cautiously optimistic about Canada’s economy. Stan Gallen, senior vice president of sales & marketing at Debco (asi/48885), says that the positive numbers are heartening, but that Canada’s economy is far from flourishing. “Uncertainty has become the new norm and we’ve had to adapt quickly to an ever-changing landscape that’s more tied to the global economy than ever before,” he says. “In years past, forecasting was a bit more predictable than it is these days. The butterfly effect is now more pronounced, with even the most seemingly insignificant policy changes making a difference in our own country.”

Meanwhile, McCabe is certain about his company’s – and the industry’s – ability to adapt to policy changes. “With change comes opportunity, and we’re interested to see if there will be a shift in the global trade agreements,” he says. “It may mean opportunities to improve trade agreements between Canada and other countries. Trump is changing the landscape quickly with no plans to slow down. We will do our best to adapt and react to the best of our abilities.”

Source: ASI news

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Alibaba Website Designated Again as ‘Notorious Market’

Alibaba Group’s Taobao online shopping site was named once again to the United States Trade Representative’s “Notorious Markets List,” calling into question the headway the Alibaba website has made in combating counterfeit goods.

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) warned Alibaba a year ago that it needed to improve its anti-counterfeiting efforts or else be added to the black market list. The Alibaba website has undertaken steps to facilitate counterfeit removals, and said this year it more than doubled the number of product listings it removed compared to a year ago. Still, the USTR in its reported stated that “while recent steps set positive expectations for the future, current levels of reported counterfeiting and piracy are unacceptably high.” For example, the USTR said that one large motor vehicle manufacturer reported that at least 95% of items on Alibaba platforms bearing the company’s brand name were counterfeit.

In a statement, Alibaba Group President Michael Evans cited the more the 100,000 brands that operate in Alibaba marketplaces as one reason that Taobao does not belong on the list. “Unfortunately, the USTR’s decision leads us to question whether the USTR acted based on the actual facts or was influenced by the current political climate,” Evans said.

The “Notorious Market” designation only applies to Taobao (which has been compared to U.S. sites like Amazon and eBay), and not Alibaba.com, the B-to-B sourcing platform offered by Alibaba Group. Taobao was previously on the Notorious Markets list from 2008-2012, while Alibaba.com was removed from the list in 2011.

In recent years, the Alibaba website has restructured its counterfeit reporting policies to allow products to be removed more quickly. In October the company told the USTR that over a 12-month span ending in August, 380 million product listings were removed and about 180,000 Taobao stores were closed. In 2014, counterfeit-tracker Net Names told the Wall Street Journal that of the brands it works with, 20%-80% of their items on Taobao are counterfeit.

The recent Notorious Markets designation could damage Alibaba’s continued efforts to make inroads into the U.S. However, the company continues to accrue impressive growth, including a 55% increase in revenue for its fiscal second quarter ending in September and increases from 3.61 yuan per share to 5.26 per share.

On Counselor’s recent 2016 Power 50 list, Alibaba website founder Jack Ma and CEO Daniel Zhang ranked 28th, but dropped 11 spots compared to the previous year’s list.  All the more reason to look at local distributors with a solid track record of delivering quality products from verified sources.

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Motivate Your Clients with Promotional USB

Motivate Your Clients with Promotional USB

A survey conducted by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) revealed that more than 75% of all people receiving promotional products during the course of a given year had no difficulty whatsoever recalling the advertiser’s name shown on the product. The same survey showed that well over half of those same people actually then did business with the advertiser.

This makes it very clear that there can be tremendous benefit to supplying clients and would-be clients with free materials that promote your company’s products or services. It’s even more effective when you can supply that kind of broad group of potential customers with a device that’s extremely useful, and which virtually everyone uses, such as a promotional USB flash drive.

Why USB flash drives are so useful

Practically everyone who works in an office setting, or who owns some kind of computer or laptop, has need of copying, transferring, and storing data. There is simply no more practical and convenient way of accomplishing any or all of those tasks, other than by using a USB flash drive. For one thing, the actual drive is extremely safe, and protected by an outer casing (which is where your company brand name would be advertised), and it’s very convenient because the drive is coupled with a universal serial bus (USB) connector that makes porting to computers easy.

To extend the convenience concept, these handy little flash drives are sized so that they can easily fit in your shirt pocket, your trousers, or secured to a key chain, so you can’t possibly forget to bring them with you. Not to be overlooked among all these terrific attributes is the storage capacity of a good USB flash drive, with drives now available that can store 64 GB of data and more.
Customize USB drives for your clients

Customization brings in a great deal of versatility into the picture for USB drives that you provide to your clients for motivational purposes. You can make it the most affordable version of a drive, with standard capacity and coloring, a protective cap, and a clear representation of your company name and/or logo. If you really want to motivate potential clients to consider you as a business partner, you can opt more toward a higher-end custom USB drive which has a swivel top (no cap needed), two surfaces for your company name to be printed or engraved, special highlighted coloring, and mega-capacity storage.

Effective advertising

As mentioned at the outset, providing clients and potential clients with promotional USB flash drives can have tremendous payback for your company, because they are objects likely to be used and viewed numerous times by their grateful recipients. In effect, that frequently refreshes your company name or logo in the minds of recipients, and at times of their choosing, not through unwanted sales pitches coming at them through various marketing channels. It’s really a hard promotional package to beat – a very useful device provided free of charge, offering great performance, and constantly reminding the user of the business or company which gave it to them.

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Select Great Ideas for 2016 Corporate Holiday Gifts

2016 corporate holiday gifts

Six corporate gift trends to capitalize on this coming holiday season.

Every year, ASI end-buyer surveys show nearly 50% of companies plan to give gifts to their employees for the holidays. Another 40% plan to show similar appreciation to clients and prospects. That’s a lot of potential business – but in the mad holiday dash, your pitch has to be specific and spot on.

In other words, the gifts you suggest have to be great. How can you achieve this gift-giving greatness? By knowing the top trends. So here they are – the six 2016 corporate holiday gifts that are trending now & that will help you make the upcoming season merry, bright and profitable.

holiday-gifts

1. Food Is Still King
Sometimes the most common gift is the one that’s most enjoyable. That’s certainly the case with promotional food products, which ASI data shows is the most popular holiday promo item outside of gift cards. “Tins of cookies and other types of packaging that a group of people can enjoy have been a staple of gifting for a long time,” says Bruce Korn, president of distributor ZAKback (asi/365556). “The group can share the goodies and the main client can keep the packaging.

Something else that’s appealing about treats: suppliers offer food gifts in multiple sizes, boxes and packages that can fit almost any client demand. “For those on smaller budgets, there are more individualized food gifts, like boxes of truffles, nuts and candies,” says Korn.

2. Athleisure Sets The Pace
This holiday season, formal apparel gifts are out, while relaxed apparel – commonly called athleisure wear – are in. But ironically, they’re not just for leisure anymore. “The way we dress for the office is changing due to the strength of the athleisure movement, making us rethink what we wear to work,” says Vicki Ostrom, a senior designer at SanMar (asi/84863), a Washington-based supplier.

SanMar’s Interlock Collection features what looks like a sporty sweatshirt fabric, but it has a smoother surface and more drape than a traditional sweatshirt. The result is a sport-luxe feel that fits into many office settings. “The interlock is 7.5 oz. vs. 8.5 or 9 oz., allowing garments made from this fabric to layer more easily with other items,” Ostrom says. “Layering is a value-add when it comes to athleisure, since that’s one of the movement’s core principles.”

These various styles are transitional, as well, so after-work wearers can comfortably move along with their day and night. “Each piece is an easy bridge between office casual and sporty,” Ostrom says. “They’re core styles with a twist, incorporating such upscale trims as metal buttons and zipper pulls, while the heather fabrication looks like a favorite sweatshirt you can’t wait to put on.”

3. Fleece Fits All
When you think fleece this holiday season, think beyond traditional outerwear. For example, fleece ponchos, beanies, blankets, scarves and drawstring backpacks are in style, and helpfully one-size-fits-all. “I’ve been given blankets that we use in our home – both low-cost fleece and higher-end Sherpa fleece styles,” Korn says. Consider different sizes of blankets – sized for pets, infants, adults or as bed or couch covers, as well.

Remember you can also tier a fleece gift promotion. George Klare, co-owner of Proforma Design Management (asi/491109) in Alvarado, TX, featured fleece blankets in a gift program for his clients last year. “We sent three different blankets for holiday gifts – a basic blanket for general customers, an upgraded version for mid-range customers and the third was a very nice blanket presented in a box that was given to our top customers. Fleece blankets make great gifts,” he says.

Popular corporate gifts

4. Bags Garner Attention
If a client is looking for a luxury gift in 2016, leather bags should be one of your go-to items. In fact, Korn says a leather duffel stands out as the best gift he’s ever received. “Obviously it’s on the high end, but I use it frequently and see the branding on it each time to remind me who gave it to me,” he says.

Leed’s (asi/66887) recently introduced a new Cutter & Buck (asi/47965) line of luxury bags called the Bainbridge Collection. It includes a tote, duffel, backpack and computer bag, all with leather accents. There’s also a genuine-leather ID luggage tag with a button-snap closure, which is priced for wider distribution.

Meanwhile, supplier AAA Innovations (asi/30023) has also delivered a new line of bags ready for holiday gift programs. The collection’s design team is led by Theodore Allegrini, a former designer from Giorgio Armani’s A/X brand. “We want to bring a retail look and feel into the promotional product market,” says Jeffrey Nanus, president of AAA Innovations. “Bags represent a large segment of the industry, and our collections add a fresh and unique perspective.”

5. Coloring Books Fill A Niche

Looking for a fun and budget-friendly gift that can engage and thank customers? Adult coloring books might be a strong option. “It’s a trend with appeal to old and young alike, whether used for relaxation by a busy professional or as a creative outlet by hipsters,” says Rich Carollo, vice president at Lion Circle (asi/67620).

Because coloring books can be specially designed, they work well across just about any market – from health care to insurance to education. Adult coloring book suppliers can tailor every page to fit a client’s desired message. A niche to think about: retirement communities and senior wellness centers. Why? Adult coloring books can be therapeutic and great for use as part of group social activities.

“It’s grander than a Christmas card yet fitting a price point that has value greater than what you’re paying,” Carollo says.

6. Everyone Loves Tech
Tech promo items are still as trendy as ever, especially with younger demographics and for companies that have employees that are constantly on the go. But in this vast field of options, what should you showcase? Korn recommends wireless speakers, headphones, power banks and other mobile-type items.

Simply put, think about the types of retail tech products you’d like to receive. Many of those same products are available in the ad specialty market – from fitness trackers to ultra-portable chargers to combination sets. “Promotional items that have a value to someone’s personal life bridge the gap between retail and provide valuable impressions,” says Jason Emery, vice president at Toddy Gear (asi/91411). “A gift set might be used when the recipient is on the move, sitting at their desk or even at home.”

Technology Gift Sets reflects current trends, while delivering style and usability. It includes a 2600mAh power bank, a Promotional USB Drive, custom bluetooth speaker and a carrying pouch. USB Canada offers full-color decoration and all pieces are custom-made to provide a true retail look and feel.

But let’s say you have a client that’s seen it all in the tech world. What can you do then? Take a chance and go outside the box – delve into the world of virtual reality. There are many VR glasses on the market, and those made of simple cardboard are priced around $3 (USD) each for a 250-piece order. The marketing options are endless, but here’s one idea: resorts, travel agencies, and cruise lines could use them as part of gift packages to promote travel. Paired with a smartphone and mobile app, the gift recipient can take a virtual tour of a destination before going on a trip.

By Tonia Kimbrough
Published in Counselor

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NAND flash memory prices at 2-year high

TOKYO — Prices for NAND flash memory used in smartphones and memory cards continue to climb, recently rising above $3 per chip for the first time in two years.

Bellwether 64-gigabit multi-level cell (MLC) chips are currently selling for around $3.30 apiece, 6% more than in September. The price last topped the $3 benchmark when it reached $3.10 in November 2014. The price of 128-gigabit memory is up 1% from September to around $4.10.

Memory prices typically fall with the passage of time accompanying advances in manufacturing technology. It is extremely unusual for prices to climb as far as the same level as two years earlier.

Driving the increase is a surge in demand. One major factor is the decision by South Korea’s Samsung Electronics to halt sales of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, which was plagued by exploding batteries.

NAND flash memory was already headed toward a shortage, since it is used to increase memory capacity as smartphone functionality expands. Now, Samsung’s rivals are seizing the offensive, taking the South Korean company’s woes as an opportunity to expand market share. In particular, the Chinese manufacturers behind the Oppo and Vivo brands are competing to secure NAND flash memory.

In the U.S., companies engaged in finance and e-commerce are increasing investment in servers. This has contributed to the rise in NAND prices by driving up demand for solid-state memory, a type of memory that incorporates NAND and helps speed data throughput while reducing operating costs.

(Nikkei)