Promoting Your Business with Branded Market Umbrellas

Yellow Market Umbrella with marketing

If you own a cafe, restaurant or bar, market umbrellas are a great way to keep your patrons comfortable and protected from the elements. However, this is only a small slice of the many possibilities and benefits they offer. If you’re in the market for a new set of umbrellas, you’ll also be surprised at just how much the design and manufacturing process has changed in recent years. 

Branded market umbrellas have been a staple in Australia’s hospitality industry for some time now (with no signs of slowing down). As we’ll go on to explore, brand new custom umbrellas are an excellent promotional tool to build awareness, attract new customers and even help to set your business apart from competitors.

What Are the Key Features of a Market Umbrella? 

Before we get too deep into specifics, let’s quickly go over the basics. Market umbrellas stand upright and feature a straight pole at their centre. Bold, strong and incredibly versatile, they can be easily affixed to a dining table or set up as stand-alone structures. While some shift through a tilting mechanism, a majority of market umbrellas are straight, fixed, and symmetrical. 

Across the board, these umbrellas are larger than the patio style and well-known for their excellent stability. This stability is enabled by the base structure which helps to keep the umbrella firm and in place (even in harsh winds). 

A high-quality base is the backbone of every umbrella. As a general rule: the heavier, the better. As you can probably tell by the name, branded market umbrellas bring all of the same advantages, yet allow for personalised variations in colour, imprints and logos. 

Market umbrellas are also available in a wide variety of different materials, sizes and colours, which allow you to select an option that best reflects your overall brand aesthetic. 

Where are Branded Market Umbrellas Generally Used? 

Generally, market umbrellas are used by food establishments that need coverage for outdoor areas or a means to protect their goods and inventory. Common outdoor areas include footpaths, courtyards, beer gardens and other sections where shade is required. However, many businesses also use them for indoor environments such as shopping centres, markets, and food courts. 

Here in Melbourne, you’ll find market umbrellas everywhere from Lygon St to Victoria Market, Hardware Lane, Chadstone Shopping Centre, and countless other iconic locations. In most cases, each business will have their brand name or logo imprinted to not only build awareness and create uniformity, but also help visitors to find their cafe, stall, restaurant or bar.

Row of white and black striped market umbrellas over outdoor tables

At Indoor Outdoor Imports, we have supplied and distributed branded market umbrellas in Melbourne for more than 30 years. If you’re looking to take your outdoor space to the next level, contact us today. 

7 Key Benefits

If you’ve ever been for a stroll through Degraves Street or Queen Vic Market, you already know branded umbrellas have been a part of Melbourne’s vibrant food scene for decades. In large part, this is due to the countless benefits they provide. Let’s explore some of the most important now:

Better Visibility 

Whether you’re located on a busy shopping strip, a food court or a laneway, branded market umbrellas are a great way to capture the attention of passersby. With so much competition out there (both physical and digital), it’s important to make your business clear, visible and easy to find. Unless you’re a world-renowned brand or restaurant, potential customers may miss your business if it isn't easy to spot!

Another common approach is to pair umbrellas with branded or non-branded cafe barriers and retractable awnings. All of these measures are affordable, offer great protection for patrons and finally, help to make your business clear and visible. 

Building a Recognisable Brand 

A good logo and imprint is still one of the key pillars of advertising, and what better way to showcase it than with a series of sleek and stylish branded umbrellas. When people see your logo, they should immediately associate it with your products or services, and this recognition is the first step towards building a strong brand.

Whether it's a trade show, a corporate event, or simply a sunny day on the streets, your branded umbrellas will be there, reinforcing your image time and time again. This way, people that live or work in the local area may even begin to think of you as a part of the neighbourhood‘s fabric, which can also translate to more business in the long run.

Light and dark green market umbrellas

Affordable Marketing 

Alongside a move to more eco-friendly ink, affordability is another benefit brought about by technological advancements in the digital print industry. One particular process to highlight is digital multi colour transfers. As a leading provider of market umbrellas in Melbourne, we’ve found that this approach to be a cost-effective alternative, particularly for clients that only need smaller quantities.

Unlike more temporary ad campaigns or flyers, branded market umbrellas are incredibly robust and durable. As a result, they become much more of a permanent and long-term advertising alternative. 

Eco-Friendly Printing 

At Indoor Outdoor, our branded market umbrellas are created with Permaset ink - the most eco-friendly water based print system on the market today. Permaset is a water-based textile screen printing ink that is free of nasty solvents and toxic ingredients. More specifically, their inks do not contain CFCs, HCFCs, aromatic hydrocarbons or volatile solvents.

These new methods of printing, therefore, have made branded market umbrellas more sustainable and eco-conscious than ever before. If sustainability is a core value of your business, these newer eco-friendly processes make market umbrellas a no brainer. 


Customisation, of course, is one of the major benefits of branded market umbrellas. The ability to imprint your logo, colour scheme or slogans is the reason why so many businesses are drawn to them. 

As we touched on before, branded market umbrellas serve as an extension of a company's brand identity. A custom branded umbrella allows businesses to reinforce their brand's presence in the minds of customers.

If you are located in a competitive shopping district like Chapel St or Oxford St in Sydney, custom outdoor umbrellas can set you apart and instantly capture the attention of anyone that passes by.

Market umbrellas can be more of a long-term addition or a temporary measure. Cafés, for instance, might choose to have customised umbrellas as a permanent fixture to enhance their outdoor seating area, while event-based businesses may use them for specific promotions or events.

Attract and Retain Customers

In hospitality, experience is everything. Beyond the quality of food, drinks and service, you want your customers to be as comfortable as possible. If people enjoy their time, they are more likely to recommend you to their friends and family. Most importantly, with custom market umbrellas in place, they’ll be sure to remember the name fondly.

The last thing you want is for customers to have a negative experience, especially when it could have been easily avoided with a little outdoor protection. Remember, word spreads quickly. Negative experiences not only translate to poor reviews, but also conversations with family, friends, colleagues and people that work in the hospitality industry.

Pairing Market Umbrellas with Cafe Barriers

Market umbrella and cafe barriers with logos for cafe

To take your outdoor dining or event space to the next level, consider pairing market umbrellas with cafe barriers. This combination not only works on a visual level, but also helps to improve the overall functionality of your outdoor area, which in turn translates to more positive benefits.

These include:

More Privacy and Atmosphere: This separation adds a touch of exclusivity and privacy, making customers feel like they're in a special, designated area. 

Branding Opportunities: This is another great way to display your logo, tagline, or artwork on these barriers, placing your brand front and centre.

Weather Protection: While market umbrellas primarily shield against the sun, cafe barriers can provide additional protection from wind, rain, and other weather elements. This versatility allows your outdoor space to stay comfortable and usable in various conditions.

Safety and Crowd Control: Cafe barriers can serve as effective crowd control measures, especially during events or busy periods. They help manage foot traffic and maintain order, ensuring a safer and more organised environment for both customers and staff.

Regulatory Compliance: In some areas, outdoor seating arrangements may need to adhere to local regulations. Cafe barriers can help you delineate your space while staying compliant with these rules, preventing potential legal issues down the road.

More Down Time for Patrons: When customers feel comfortable and sheltered in your outdoor space, they are more likely to stay longer. This extended dwell time can lead to increased sales and revenue, as patrons are inclined to order more and enjoy their time at your establishment.

Versatile Design Options: Cafe barriers come in a wide range of designs and materials, allowing you to choose options that seamlessly complement your market umbrellas and overall theme. Whether you prefer a modern, minimalist look or a more classic and rustic style, there are cafe barrier options to suit your aesthetics.

Cafe barriers and market umbrellas outside of a deli cafe

Indoor Outdoor - Australia’s Home of Printed Market Umbrellas

Indoor Outdoor Imports have a leading source for printed market umbrellas and cafe barriers for more than 30 years. If you need affordable marketing and outdoor protection, contact us today for eco-friendly custom printed umbrellas. 

Beyond Melbourne, we also have an array of different umbrella sizes, colours and styles available for businesses across Australia. Explore it all online or contact us directly to discuss your custom design.

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