One of the most important ‘non-photography’ things that you can do as a photographer is to cultivate and build a recognizable brand. This starts with developing your unique style of imagery, but it extends further into the design of your website, your logo, your product packaging.
I was recently one of those photographers who delivered via digital download or on occasion via a USB drive (whatever the cheapest one was that I could find at the store). There are several problems with this in regards to my brand as a photographer, but beyond that, into my clients’ experience.
[REWIND: How to Brand Yourself]
I decided that I wanted to improve on my brand and improve my customer experience with better final delivery packaging. CD/DVD delivery, while technically still possible, is not a great way to go these days with more computers coming without them than with. This leaves delivery via USB, and while you can pick these up at the store for fairly cheap, you lose out on branding if you go with a store bought drive.
This led me to PhotoFlashDrive.com, one of a few online stores dedicated to custom USB drives and packaging for photographers. They have more options than I could have hoped for, and I ended up going with one of their wooden USB choices, with their basic metal tin for packaging.
Ordering drives and packaging individually, like I did, can be sort of expensive. So I only recommend this if you are just trying several designs to find the one you prefer. Once you find one you like, I suggest ordering in bulk to save money. (That said, if you want to give your clients that extra special touch, you could have these made with their names on the drives, etc. But I would only do this if you have prices to justify it).
The ordering process was simple enough. I just uploaded my logo, customized some text, and color options and paid. Eight days later, my new custom USB drives and Packaging arrived. I was very impressed with the quality.
The metal tin looks and feels nice, and the wooden lid (featuring my studio logo) has a nice weight to it, though it does come off rather easily, so I will probably end up tying it with string. The material inside the tin is coconut husk fiber, and while it looks amazing, it is one of the things I wish were different. Individual fibers can find their way outside the lid rather easily, which can be frustrating.
As far as the USB drive itself, I could not be more pleased. PhotoFlashDrive actually upgraded the 2GB drive I ordered to 4GB, which was a nice touch (even if it is overkill for someone like me who only delivers 20-30 images per shoot). But beyond that, the drive itself is very high quality. I especially liked the magnets in the lid that helps give off a premium vibe to the product.
Overall, my experience with PhotoFlashDrive.com was great, and I will for sure be ordering from them again in the future. They regularly have promotions on different kinds of drives and packaging, so keep an eye on their site for when your USB/packaging of choice goes on sale and jump on it.
What are your thoughts on improving your branding and client experience through custom USB drives and packaging? Do you currently do anything like this (if so, let’s see them!)? Leave a comment below and let us know!