Giving away promotional USB drives is very common nowadays. Not only that it serves as a free gift, it is also a very good branding and marketing tool for many businesses. Rather than just giving pens and t-shirts, pen drives are perceive to be more useful to a person's life.
These tiny gadgets do really benefit both businesses and users.
For businesses, they benefit from extending their marketing and branding effort by maximum exposure. Whenever the user is using the pen drive, there is a tendency for the logo to appear before the user's eyes. In addition, many companies have been making use of the pen drives to help customers or potential customers to get across the marketing messages. This includes promotional videos, graphics, brochures, catalogs and fliers in the pen drive.
For users, they benefit from getting the promotional USB drives for free. More than just a free gift, it also brings convenience to their daily lives. People can hardly live without pen drives today because of the information they need to store and carry around.
However, there are also challenges that comes from this promotional gift. These challenges will also be discussed in the context of both businesses and consumers.
While most of the corporate gifts are imprinted with the logos and brands on them, it is really difficult for customers to understand what the marketing objective really means. To many of them, it is nothing more than just a company logo. Extra effort will be needed in order to make customers to understand more about the company's profile, its products and services. Logos and brands usually works much better for well established companies. For example, when you look at a certain logo or brand, you know exactly what they do and this is called a well established brand in the eyes of the public.
For users, the tendency of perceiving that promotional USB drives are cheap stuffs is usually higher. Although it helps to make consumers' lives easier to a certain extend, it is very natural for them to think that it is really nothing so special about the pen drive. It is just another data storage gadget. It is not something that is extremely important to them and in fact, it is the data they store in the device that is more important than the pen drive itself. They can always get another pen drive without the feeling heavy to leave one behind or throw them away.
Another factor that consumers face when it comes to promotional USB drives is that, they have no choice but to go through the promotional videos the first time the chuck the USB drive into the computer. This function is usually called 'autorun'. Just like when you are installing certain software, the moment you insert the CD to the CD-ROM, you have no choice but to go through the promotional video clip in the beginning. For businesses, they love this feature but it may really annoy some of the consumers who are interested in nothing more than just the pen drive.