Star Outdoor unveils the Swing range

Star Outdoor

Star Outdoor talks about how its new Swing range is the perfect complement to an outdoor café setting and an obvious sign to lure customers in.

Whether it’s letting customers know what kind of coffee they’re drinking or simply creating an ethos for the business itself, the décor of a café can be a strong factor when it comes to customer retention. With both indoor and outdoor branded products available, outdoor branding company Star Outdoor has been helping customers become more recognisable for more than 17 years.

“Cafés should understand that they need to be memorable in their own right. They should have a mixture of branding for coffee and beverages, but they also need their own branding for the café itself,” says Star Outdoor’s Managing Director Mark Star.

One method to do just that is Star Outdoor’s new Swing range, a new set of outdoor signage options which, according to Mark, is a more stylish, rigid, and sustainable collection than previous editions.

Mark says the range is a branding tool for cafés to promote the business itself or display the brands of food and drink they stock.

“If a café has brand presence for their preferred coffee or milk displayed outside, customers will go there because they know they have what they want,” says Mark.

The new Swing range has detachable leather straps that allow the branded panel to be changed and replaced as required. This will enable wind to pass through while the stand itself is able to stay in position.

Mark says the process of putting together the Swing range took 18 months from concept to completion.

“The first thing in the design process is to get the idea,” says Mark. “It’s OK to have an idea, but then you must make the product that allows it to work properly.”

Communication has long been a staple of this process. Star Outdoor looks at competitor products and past releases to see how each product can be improved, using both analysis as well as customer feedback.

Mark hopes that the newly adopted and revised range shows that the company listened to industry feedback and created and innovated new products that solve the industry’s issues.

“All industries need to move forward. We can’t stick around with the tried and true,” he says.

Mark says one of the top priorities when assembling the new range was to ensure everything was simple to use.

“There’s so many points you have to take into consideration, such as the strength of the person putting the frame out each day, the wind factors, workplace health and safety issues and making sure everything is secure and doesn’t injure anyone,” he says.

Star Outdoor prides itself on adjusting to the needs of its customers, especially when it comes to improving product quality.

“We’ve had a long history of upgrading our products to make them sturdier and more user friendly,” says Mark. “It’s part of our DNA to look at things from a customer’s perspective.”

With that in mind, the Swing range will also be available in a variety of colours and materials that cafés can mix and match depending on their branding style, including wooden panels for an earthier feel.

For Mark, the priority of his business has always been to maintain a strong relationship with clients.

“We’re a business that supplies products and we don’t like to get returns,” he says.

“We like to send our product out so the customer gets what they want and we get great satisfaction from that.”

The Star Outdoor team pride themselves on making ordering easy, which is one of the main reasons clients choose to collaborate with the company.

“A lot of our clients have been working with us for years and years, and that happens because we keep delivering what they need,” says Mark. “It’s about the product, it’s about the branding, and it’s about the partnerships we have.”

Star Outdoor’s most popular product continues to be the umbrella. Mark says it not only protects café goers from the elements but can also send a message to anyone passing by.

“If there’s an umbrella up [in front of a building], it’s a pretty sure [sign] they have coffee there. They don’t even need to see the logo,” says Mark.

Star Outdoor relies heavily on its own experience when it comes to setting up cafés the right way.

“We’ve been around for more than 17 years so we’re not the new kids on the block,” says Mark.

Part of its experience is the in-house service Star Outdoor provides. The company even has its own design team to take the pressure off the businesses when it comes to branding.

“Our team can advise the café owners and brands on what works and what doesn’t work,” says Mark. “We’re always growing and innovating.”

The Swing range is available for purchase but will officially be launched at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) in August, where Star Outdoor will also unveil its new Italian umbrella at the show.

“The beauty of MICE is that everyone attends, even if they’re not an exhibitor,” says Mark. “Their minds open and they are eager to learn what’s happening in the industry.”

“We’re excited about MICE and the opportunity it gives us to show our products to the industry.”

In keeping with tradition, Star Outdoor’s setup at stand #I30 will serve free cannoli, which Mark says “was a great hit with MICE visitors and exhibitors last year.”

“I think [MICE] is a big opportunity just to connect and ask questions, and maybe enquire about how we can work together to solve some of the industry’s problems,” he says. “Our main goal will be to connect with our current customers and to look for new partners who we can help to grow their business by improving their branding exposure.”

As Star Outdoor looks to the future, the company is also focused on embracing more environmentally conscious options.

“We’re working hard to become a more sustainable business, as well as looking into ways we can recycle or repurpose some of our products,” says Mark.

Star Outdoor has even changed its method of printing to accommodate a more eco-friendly ink to avoid residual toxicity after use.

“We’re looking at everything, and anything is open for discussion on how we can improve our sustainability,” says Mark.

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This article appears in the August 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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