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The History of Promotional USBs

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

Our transcendence into the modern era has made transporting data effortless. But have you ever wondered how those little USB devices actually began? Below you will learn about the origin of USBs and how they became one of the greatest promotional tools of the digital age.

Where did USBs come from?

USBs were designed to be used universally; in every computer around the world. In 1971, Japanese inventor, Fujio Masouka, had a concept to create a means of retaining digital information without power. Over the coming years, Masuoka introduced his patented design of “flash memory” which instantly caught the attention of the Japanese conglomerate Toshiba and US giant Intel. But in 1989, M-Systems further expounded upon the current notion of flash memory to design and create the very first custom flash drive. As such, M-Systems developed the design that we have all come to know and love today.

How promotion entered the picture

Due to its practicality, advertising companies immediately latched onto branding this new portable means of digital storage. As flash drives began to become more intuitive and necessary in everyday life, they became the focal point of company and business representation. Inventors began to tweak and modify USBs to make them smaller and more accessible for modern times. Malaysian engineer Pua Khein Seng is credited with creating the pen drive, focusing on compacting information and making it just that much easier to carry. With a steady trend in utility, promotional USBs have and will continue to rise and act as a foundation of the promotional industry.

Why you need promotional USBs

By now you should realise that personalised USB keys are a fantastic way of getting your name out there. Their sleek design and usefulness make them a great gift for your staff, clients, friends or family. People will always need to move data, so why not take this opportunity to market your brand?


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