Star Outdoor unveils its new STAR barrier and talks about the sustained importance of outdoor branding to build sales and create repeat business.
According to Star Outdoor, there is more to branding than just slapping a logo onto a product. Many aspects need to be considered, such as the purpose of the branding. Is it to tell café customers what brand of coffee is used, or to set the vibe for the café and extend the look and feel of the brand onto the street?
Impressions count, and so does the intention of a café wind barrier or umbrella, which are quite often the first thing a customer sees as they approach a venue. It’s for this reason that Star Outdoor has sold thousands of products nationwide, from marquees and banners to table covers and café umbrellas.
Since October, the outdoor branding company has added the modernised STAR barrier to its arsenal. Managing Director Mark Star says that the STAR barrier allows businesses to maximise the use of materials, logos, colours, and brand positioning to make a customer’s first impression a memorable one.
“Our Classic Wind Barrier Frame has been manufactured with a primary focus on sturdiness and usability in terms of interlocking. Wind barriers can be effortlessly connected with others with the double foot interlock at a 90-degree angle for greater stability,” says Mark.
Mark says traditionally, a wind barrier or breeze barrier is made of a steel frame, either a square or round profile, that has a PVC vinyl insert with screen printed brand applied. Star Outdoor’s new wind barriers are versatile, sturdy, and self-supporting.
“Our new STAR barrier can have panels bolted into the barrier frame, which allows for a wider variety of configurations for customers. This could include a solid panel, or a metal mesh, or grate, wooden slats, or plywood panel. Logos, graphics and photo quality images can be added using digital printing, engraving, laser cutting. The actual insert that’s used is only as wild as your imagination,” he says.
“Many customers are trying to find ways to express their brand in more creative ways, and I think these new STAR barriers with panel inserts certainly provide the opportunity to do that.”
By switching to the STAR barrier, it is easy to update insert and change or refresh the branding something that has been difficult with the old style wind barriers.
At the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE), which took place in September, Star Outdoor showcased its new STAR barrier, featuring timber slats with quite a large gap between each.
A Queensland customer commented that the new barriers were “great because it allows a breeze to come through on a humid day”.
For Melbourne cafés and restaurants however, Mark says the cooler climate may make closed slats more preferable.
“We want our customers to know whatever the branding dream is, we can deliver the outcome they need. Especially in Melbourne when you get four seasons in one day, you want to be able to accommodate for all conditions,” Mark says.
At MICE, Star Outdoor also launched wind barrier toppers to further protect cafés from Melbourne’s unpredictable weather patterns.
“The toppers can be placed on top of the wind barriers. We used a carbon fibre insert that’s made and printed locally with opaque texture to give customers some extra privacy. It provides the hospitality industry another opportunity to brand their business,” Mark says.
“The STAR barriers can provide a sophisticated signage solution with their branding options. Keep it simple with your logo or brand name or maximise the space with ongoing promotions across several wind barriers for a dynamic look.
“All our wind barriers can be screen printed on a range of stock colours or digitally printed for custom artwork.”
Star Outdoor’s range of wind barriers cater for all market needs, whether a customer is on a budget or looking to stand out.
“If you’re after a bulk order for the lowest cost possible, our old wind barriers are certainly the way to go,” he says.
“They can be specifically configured to make the most of your space and are an excellent barrier against the weather, as well as distinguishing a neat boundary for your area.”
Several styles of wind barriers are available, including the Classic Wind Barrier Jacket, designed to fit over an existing wind barrier.
“This is the more affordable option that breathes life back into existing products you might have. The fabric jacket is made of a stretchy fabric that is placed over a wind barrier frame. It’s durable, easy to slip on and off a frame and the full photographic print quality means you can go all out with your artwork,” says Mark.
He says that Star Outdoor has seen an increased interest for outdoor branding and products that enable more seating as COVID-19 continues to put pressure on a café’s ability to offer table service.
“The wind barrier has become a bit of an unsung hero to cafés that need to limit customers,” he says. “They’re still a highly effective branding item, but now they’re also a crowd control tool to keep your customers safe. You can use them to manage who’s arrived at the café and checked in, where they should be seated, and keep them separated from passers- by or takeaway customers.”
According to Mark, designing products and building a brand requires a unique skillset, one that Star Outdoor utilises to make sure a business has the right logo and messaging, displays the wind barriers in the best light, and selects and supplies the right products to share with passers-by.
“We’re experienced in branding like cafés are in hospitality. We’ve been supplying branded products for coffee and other industries for 17 years and have an in-house graphic design team to help provide the best outdoor branding outcomes for our clients,” he says.
Mark adds that Star Outdoor is passionate about maximising brand exposure, selling thousands of products nationwide from marquees and banners to table covers, café umbrella and wind barriers.
“The first thing you see of any café is the wind barriers and umbrellas, and as they say ‘first impressions count’,” he says.
“Our brand positioning is ‘Star Outdoor: it’s easy’ and that flows through the business. It’s easy to contact us, it’s easy to get design assistance, and the products are easy to use.”
For more information, visit www.staroutdoor.com.au
This article appears in the December 2022 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.