Canadian Club Bottle USB Drives

Canadian Club Bottle USB Drives

We can’t say no to our customers, so when the good people at Canadian Club came to us, of course we agreed. Everyone, let’s welcome the Canadian Club Bottle USB Drive.

Here are spme details about this order:

  • These 1GB drives were produced using our Plastic Injection Molding process.
  • Pre-production sample took about 10 business days. Final order took about 40 days to produce.
  • Each bottle was molded out of translucent brown plastic. The cap was made out of opaque black plastic to replicate the real Canadian Club bottle cap and attached as a separate piece.
  • Each bottle was printed with a gold “Canadian Club Whisky 1958″ artwork and had an authentic label applied to the body and neck.

See attached images for full details on this order (from start to finish). Images include initial drawings, size specs, pre-production samples, hand-made tooling photos, and photos of the finished product.

Enjoy. And oh yeah, contact me to make some of your own (in a different shape, of course).

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Armani Exchange Dog Tag USB Drives

Armani Exchange USB Dog Tag

Armani Exchange is probably one of my favorite clothing brands and since I’m a frequent shopper, I often receive their mailers. Their last email got my attention.

 

As an exclusive offer, they are giving out 1GB Dog Tag USB drives anyone whose order exceeds $150. Each drive is pre-loaded with a one-of-a-kind track by Tiesto.

 

Well, good for them. In fact, we carry the same model. Though not on the website yet, it is available for sale.

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This USB Drive will Self-Destruct in …

USB Lock

Imagine this scenario, you are a top-of-the-line USB manufacturer. A client comes to you to order some USB drives for an event they are having. It’s an invite-only, red-carpet gala (slash) product launch. A Manhattan hotel, celebrities, a keynote. Each flash drive is a completely custom piece made out of virgin Finnish birch with a heat stamped logo and a rope lanyard made out of genuine bull hide leather.

Three months later … the product is a complete failure, the company is out of money, and this order was bought with a PO with net 30 terms.

This, of course, is a fictional scenario, but these types of situations do happen, lately more then ever before. What do you do? The client has the product and you’re out of money. Well, I have a solution. Each flash drive sold, contains a tiny wireless microchip that can be accessed via satellite. It allows you to “shut off” the drive, literally. A 64GB flash drive can be easily turned into a useless dog’s chew toy, just with a click of a button (or two). Customer doesn’t pay you – you turn off the drives. Client does a charge back and doesn’t want to return your stock – you turn off the drives. Then, there is the other function. Instead of turning the drives off, you can pop-up an advertisement. When the drive is plugged in, user gets a message – “Thank you for using a CustomUSB Flash Drive. Click HERE to get some of your own.”

Ok, I’m way ahead of the game. This product does not exist yet. But if I was to build software for USB drives, I’d look into this.

Image Credit: dialog5

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Novembers Doom USB Music Press Kit

Novembers Doom Spin USB Drives

Novembers Doom is a local (Chicago) metal band that is signed to The End Records. They are quickly gaining popularity throughout US and Europe (especially Belgium). To get endorsement deals from music equipment companies, they are sending out some pre-loaded Spin Drives that contain samples from their albums.

Their logo and signage are etched into the black metal casing to form a permanent impression. The body of the drive is black as well – a perfect look for a hit metal band.

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Beta Records and Custom USB at MUSEXPO 2009

Beta Records and CustomUSB at MUSEXPO 2009

BETA Records is well known in the music community as the place to go to find unsigned artists and indie labels. The first time we worked with Chris Honetschlaeger (president of BETA) was in 2004. Back then, he contacted us in search of help to promote his still new website. That order was for 1000 DE drives with a printed logo and a pre-loaded flash video.

Earlier this year, I ran into Chris at the Urban Network Music Summit. We were on the same panel – Social Media (Penetrating Social Networks). There, I also met Jycorri from Warner Bros. and Roslynn from MySpace and Charles from Ning.

Chris got back to me after the summit and said that he wanted to partner up for the next event – MUSEXPO 2009. We agreed.

The result was an order for 1000 custom colored Spin drives, printed with a BETA Records logo on one side and CustomUSB logo on the other. Each drive was also pre-loaded with a flash video linking to Chris’s new venture – BETA Records TV.

For more information about MUSEXPO 2009 go HERE.

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Kane Consulting Social Media Bootcamp

Kane Consulting Custom USB Co-Branded USB Drives

Jennifer from Kane Consulting is a long-time customer of mine. For the past two years she had ordered our DE style USB drives for MIMA (Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association). This time, things were a little different.

On April 24th, 2009, Kane Consulting is hosting a conference – Social Media 101: A Beginner Bootcamp. The event is being held at Aloft Minneapolis (part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts – also our good customer).

Each attendee with receive a custom colored Spin drive, pre-loaded with social media essentials – Facebook, Blogging, and Twitter resources. Our logo was printed on the other side (we help our customers cover some of the costs if we co-brand).

Contact Kane Consulting for more information about the event.

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Flash Prices are Going Up – Thanks Apple

NAND Flash Price Increase

Prices have been steadily rising since late January and now we (everyone in the flash market) are facing another increase. Apple recently announced that it’s starting development on a 32GB iPhone. It also made a bulk purchase of 100 million 8GB flash chips, which pretty much drained the market, causing a significant shortage. It is still too early to tell how long prices will stay up, or how high they will go. I’ll keep posting updates.

See additional links below.

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/032409-flash-memory-vendors-slashing-production.html

http://www.neowin.net/news/main/09/04/09/apple-orders-100-millions-8gb-flash-memory-chips

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Apple/?p=3655

http://www.techradar.com/news/computing-components/storage/apple-buying-up-the-world-s-flash-memory-536327

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Chipsbank, USBest, Downgraded Flash and the Truth About USB Controller Chip Quality

Chipsbank USB Controller Chips

Earlier this week, I received an email from a Chinese USB drive manufacturer asking us if we wanted to use him as a vendor. While the answer was “no, thank you,” his email still got my attention. It contained an attachment – a PDF document titled “Truth for Crazy Low Price in Market.” I was curious enough to open it and read through the broken English. Here are the contents of the document (with proper English).

Present Situation

  • Samsung, Toshiba, and most other NAND Flash manufacturers lost a lot of money in flash production in 2008, due to an oversupply of chips into the open market.
  • This resulted in lowest prices of all times for USB drives sold in November, December, and January. During this time, a fully assembled USB Drive (PCBA, USB connector, controller chip, flash chip, and casing) cost less than a pre-sliced wafer used to create flash ships. This is unheard of. Think of it as buying a car for less than what an engine costs you.
  • The oversupply of chips (or wafers used for making chips) resulted in what is called “downgraded” flash.

What is Downgraded Flash?

  • Downgraded flash chips are scraps from NAND Flash wafers that did not pass quality standards. Think of it as McDonald’s chicken nuggets – leftovers of old chicken meat blended together and deep fried (mmm, tasty).
  • Downgraded flash chips have a very high failure rate. They may also corrupt your files and freeze your operating system.

Controller Chips

  • Controller chip is the smaller chip (compared to the larger chip – NAND Flash) on a USB PC board. It is responsible for formatting, partitioning, auto-run, and many other functions associated with USB Drive use. NAND Flash chip is simply storage memory.
  • There are 4 main brands of controllers – Chipsbank, USBest, SMI (Silicon Motion), and Alcor Micro.
  • SMI is the largest supplier of controller chips. They are nice quality chips, yet, in our experience, have not worked properly for specialized applications (medical devices, exercise machine data storage, audio streaming machines).
  • USBest has consistently been the best quality chipset. It has performed well across the board, with very low failure rate, as well as worked for specific applications I described above. If you need something quality – BUY USBEST.
  • Alcor Micro is very similar to SMI – quality made, low failure rate, may not work for specialized applications.
  • Chipsbank has proven to be the worst. They are the least expensive, have the highest failure rate and are constantly showing up as downgraded flash. If you are getting a price that seems too good to be true, you are probably being sold on Chipsbank.

To Review

  • Stay away from Chipsbank.
  • Buy from qualified, preferably US based suppliers.
  • Ask about warranty, RMA processes, QC processes, and get references.
  • Don’t search for the cheapest price, search for the best value.
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USB Drives in Custom Pantone Colors

USB in Custom Colors

As an FYI, we can custom color match any (most, any if the quantity is right) of our USB drives. We use Pantone Matching System to paint the body of the drive in a specific color. Paint finish can be glossy or matte (rubber paint).

Now that I think about it, we can 2-tone paint any drive that is assembled from 2 pieces – like our DE drive. For instance, the bottom side can be red (PMS 186) and top side can be dark gray (PMS 426). Cap is one piece, so you would have to make a choice. Logo can be printed in white.

We haven’t done this yet, so you can be the first, the innovative, the remarkable [http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2007/01/how_to_be_remar.html].

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