Star Outdoor takes BeanScene through the importance of branding, and how cafés can best utilise the warmer months to enhance their image.
It’s one thing to provide an enjoyable experience for a customer at a café, but it’s another to get the customer to remember that experience.
According to Star Outdoor Owner and Founder Mark Star, getting customers to remember which café is which can be difficult without the right marketing mindset. The outdoor branding specialist has been supplying branded equipment for more than 17 years through umbrellas, signage, and wind barriers.
“You need to differentiate yourself from your competitors and become memorable to get those repeat customers,” he says.
When it comes to remaining unforgettable, Mark says there are three factors that always come into play.
“Having a friendly service, having great coffee and food, and the overall ambience of the café,” he says.
While Star Outdoor can’t assist with the first two, the Brisbane-based company will go to great lengths to ensure each customer has a unique identity and feel for its place of business.
“If you can make your café memorable, people will insist on going back because they’ll remember having a good experience there,” says Mark.
Through this, Mark hopes his business can alleviate the stresses of running and operating a café by taking some of the tasks away.
“Owners of businesses are always making do, which is really tough because they don’t get that opportunity to sit down and think about new ideas that could help them,” he says.
In situations like this, Mark says it’s important to rely on trusted experts to assist with marketing.
“We understand café owners are often caught up in the day-to-day management of their businesses, which is why we offer a free design service,” he says.
Star Outdoor has two graphic designers as part of its Brisbane team who work with cafés to find the right look and colour scheme for their business.
“Most cafés already have a logo of some description, but if they’re looking to rebrand or change it up a bit, they can work with us,” Mark says.
The design team are flexible for the kinds of requests customers might have when trying to find the right look.
“Some want big and bold branding, some want minimalist branding, and some want full graphics and photo-quality prints,” says Mark. “We can do all these different styles, as long as we’re on the same page with the customer.
“People only see your logo for a few seconds, so it needs to be clean, concise, and easy for the brain to remember, when customers are both arriving and leaving the venue.”
With summer finally here, having an umbrella over the heads of customers sitting outside is crucial, especially when it comes to protecting them from UV rays, which Star Outdoor umbrellas can do.
“To me, an umbrella on a sidewalk is usually associated with coffee,” Mark says. “The second part of this for the business has to be having its brand on the umbrella.”
Having a custom approach to the design of these umbrellas can help businesses stand out from the rest.
“We’ve got our outdoor branded products so that your café can be seen by passing traffic, whether it be those passing on the footpath or the road,” Mark says. “[Umbrellas] aren’t only about the branding, they’re about that shade factor and keeping people comfortable while they are sitting there.
“You need to have a welcoming setup that people are happy to come to, especially as the weather gets hotter.”
The Star Outdoor range, which also includes wind barriers, A-frames and wall signs, has been developed in-house to weather any storm.
“In Melbourne especially, the wind and weather can change pretty regularly, and being able to keep customers comfortable whilst maintaining brand visibility is vital,” says Mark.
Star Outdoor’s recently launched merchandise range, featuring water bottles, cooler bags, caps, and picnic blankets, has been created to help connect cafés with their target customers this summer. Mark believes cafés offering branded merchandise that aligns with their values can foster customer affinity and loyalty through a meaningful and consistent brand experience.
“We tend to stay away from the small and cheap merchandise,” says Mark. “Our items were selected with sustainability in mind. They are practical, reusable, and they have the same level of quality as all our other products.”
As a family-owned business, Mark and the Star Outdoor team is more than willing to help others succeed in a competitive market.
“We understand the ins and outs of small and medium businesses, and we’re here to help wherever we can,” he says.
For more information, visit www.staroutdoor.com.au
This article appears in the December 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.