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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.


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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How to make an emergency USB toolkit

A life saving USB Toolkit


Viruses, malware, accidental deletion or corrupted data can all put your valuable files at risk. The best insurance is to make regular backups, but what if you run into trouble in between backups, or you let your routine slide, or a friend has a crisis with their PC?

That’s where an emergency USB toolkit of portable apps comes in, giving you everything you need to fix the damage and save the day.

When you install a program, not only are the files it needs to run saved on your hard drive, it also makes its own changes to the rest of your system – such as adding entries to the Windows registry. Portable apps don’t do this, meaning you can save them to a USB stick and use them on any PC by double-clicking the program’s EXE file.

We’ve put together a collection of the best ones for use in emergencies.

1. Prepare your USB stick


First, you’ll need a USB memory stick – 1GB will be fine. Plug it into your PC and open Windows Explorer, then right-click it in the menu on the left, select ‘Rename’ and name it ‘Emergency’.

If you’ve used the memory stick before, you can wipe it by right-clicking it and selecting ‘Format > Restore device defaults > OK’. Make sure there isn’t anything you want to keep on the stick first.

2. Prepare for accidents


Now to build our toolkit. A common disaster is accidentally deleting a file – from your hard drive, an SD card or other storage.

Piriform Recuva can help you get it back, but installing this after you’ve lost files can result in them being overwritten. It’s far better to have it ready to run from your USB stick.

3. Recover deleted files


Click the downloaded ZIP file in your browser, and select ‘Extract > Extract all’. Click ‘Browse’ and select your USB stick.

Right-click and create a folder called ‘Recuva’ (to make it easier to find in future). Open this folder and click ‘Select folder > Extract’. Now if you ever need to restore a deleted file, just plug in your USB stick, double-click Recuva.exe and follow the instructions.

4. Download a virus-zapper


If you suspect your PC has a virus, McAfee Labs Stinger can help stop it in its tracks. This program doesn’t come in a ZIP archive, so once it’s downloaded you can drag the EXE file straight to your USB stick using Windows Explorer. When you want to run it, just double-click the file and click ‘Scan’.

5. Get ready for a deep clean


If your PC is running slow, or you’re getting error messages about corrupted files, CCleaner portable can save the day. Download it from the second link on the web page, for the portable version, then extract the downloaded file to your USB stick just as you did for Recuva, saving it in a new folder called ‘CCleaner’.

To run it, double-click the file CCleaner.exe.

6. Sweep away junk and fix errors


To free up extra space and improve performance, click ‘Analyze’ and CCleaner will search your hard drive for unnecessary files. Once it’s finished, look through the list, uncheck the boxes next to anything you want to keep, then click ‘Run Cleaner’.

To solve errors with the Windows registry, select ‘Registry’ from the menu on the left and select ‘Scan for issues > Fix selected issues’.

7. Get set to blast malware

Emsisoft Emergency Kit will check your PC for programs that aren’t strictly viruses but are still malicious. Double-click the downloaded file and it will run an installer, which automates the process of extracting the files from a ZIP archive.

Select your USB stick as the destination, make a folder called Emsisoft and click ‘OK’.

To view the full article – click here

By Cat Ellis – Techradar

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Keeping your USB Data Safe and Portable

How many of you, dear readers, carry around a USB memory stick or flash drive? Do you use it to hold photos, music or letters? Or do you use it for business to hold documents, email or quotes? These great devices are small, convenient and easy to forget!

Out of all of you using these devices, how many have left them behind in some other computer? How many times have you forgotten where you left it? They are so small and so easy to forget.

I use them quite often to carry diagnostic programs, testing instructions, security bulletins and other software. The USB memory drive is one of the most important tools in my support toolbox. If only I could remember to always take them with me when I go.

One more question: How many have left them in your clothes to end up going through the laundry? I raise my hand.

The price of USB memory drives has been dropping steadily over the years. Which is a good thing because at my rate I need to buy a new one a couple times a year. Not only because I lose them, or get them wet, but also I often end up needing more space then it has available.

Many times I have been frustrated by not having it with me, leaving it behind, or having to remove files to make space. They can be a curse disguised as a blessing.

Well, now I’ve learned about a new service (new to me anyway) called Dropbox ( With Dropbox I get a folder on my desktop PC that I can copy any file into, then access from anywhere else on the Internet.

Better yet, I regularly use three different desktop PC’s and a laptop. With Dropbox installed on all of my computers, the same Dropbox folder appears on each one. So I can easily transfer any type of file between any of the computers. This is great when you use computers at different locations and need to access the same files.

Even when I’m at a customer’s computer I can still get access to my Dropbox over the Internet. Dropbox allows me to log onto the website and access all the files in my folder. I can also share folders with other people using Dropbox. This has been a boon with my customers who I do regular work for. I can leave them instructions, update documents, give them access to software, etc.

I really like it when I develop new software, or patch existing software, copy it into my Dropbox shared folder, then call my customer to tell them to pick it up. This has really helped in situations where I cannot email them the software because their email service blocks that type of file (or when it seems to take forever for the email to arrive). With Dropbox, the minute I put a new file into my folder it is available for others to access.

I know Dropbox can’t replace my USB memory stick. If you don’t have access to the Internet, then Dropbox doesn’t do you much good. Yet it is a great addition to my toolbox. The greatest feature of Dropbox is that the first 2GB of space is free! After that, you need to pay a monthly fee for more space ($9.99 a month for 50GB, or $19.99 a month for 100GB).

For large businesses with offices in multiple locations I can see Dropbox becoming an important tool for sharing data and other information. Sales people can get access to the latest documents or software; support staff can send in, or receive, databases, configurations files, or software. I see many ways Dropbox can make life easier on various levels.

One more thing; Dropbox also works with iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry mobile devices. To date I haven’t used it with my iPhone, but I can imagine others will find uses for it. Go to the company’s website for more information.