Cohen keeps a careful eye on trends and developments in technology. When Microsoft announced a feature called ReadyBoost as part of its new Windows Vista operating system, his company was poised to take full advantage of the capabilities. ReadyBoost allows a computer to treat a sufficiently fast USB flash drive almost the same way it would treat RAM. This enhances the computer’s performance. All-In-One Manufacturing responded by ensuring that its FileSafe line of flash memory drives was ReadyBoost-certified. “That’s a really big thing and we’ve been promoting that because it’s state-of-the-art,” said Cohen.
Promotional opportunities for flash drives will expand as prices continue to drop and capacity continues to increase. As Cohen said, in the future, “everyone will own one.” Flash drives could soon permeate educational institutions. One flash drive could easily hold every syllabus for every class a student takes over his or her entire educational career. Memory devices can also be used for personalized promotions. Cohen described campaigns in which flash drives were imprinted with a logo, a message and with each end-user’s name. Each drive could then be loaded with personalized marketing data for each specific end-user. Cohen is also working on sophisticated uses for the drives in medical and personal safety fields, but could not elaborate further at present.
Other soon-to-be ubiquitous items, according to Cohen, include Web cameras. Popular video sharing sites and Internet-chat services are making streaming video devices necessary computer accessories. Cohen said these are very good promotional items because they have the potential to sit on a desk for years.
Keeping up with technology may seem overwhelming to some distributors, but stretching boundaries is necessary, according to Oas. “You’ve got to try new things and give them a year or two.” Oas cited several items he added to his line, which had relatively few sales at first but which picked up after six or more months. Oas said customers want to see these items even if they are not quite ready to purchase them. “If you don’t show some interesting things, then they don’t think you’re on the cutting edge,” he said.