Despite its lack of national advertising, Starbucks has become a household word by turning coffee into a ubiquitous attitude product. As senior VP-marketing, Mr. Bedbury, 39, has given Starbucks an additional jolt by expanding the brand beyond its traditional roots-strategically placed, extremely fragrant coffee shops-into airplanes, restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and other venues.
"My contribution has been to bring the company and consequently the brand closer to consumers, and to help unlock a greater potential for the brand while keeping its integrity and soul intact," says Mr. Bedbury.
Starbucks is marketing bottled Frappuccino, which will be national by September.
With Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, Starbucks is marketing coffee ice cream, a Frappuccino ice cream bar and a chocolate-covered ice cream novelty. Its name also appears on a coffee-laced beer called Double Black Stout, from Redhook Ale Brewery. Also in select supermarkets, Starbucks is testing bags of branded, whole-bean coffee.
Mr. Bedbury and his marketing team have made deals to feature Starbucks on United Airlines planes and in Sheraton and Westin hotels. He's involved in the company's brisk, $17.8 million direct-response business, sold through a catalog and a site on America Online.
With 1,200 locations in North America, Japan and Singapore, the rapidly growing company is starting to increase its ad presence. Its $14 million 1995 budget will grow to about $50 million this year, according to sources close to the company.
In May, in its top 15 markets, Starbucks launched TV and radio spots for Frappuccino sold at retail, and it plans a separate, national campaign for summer 1998 for bottled Frappuccino via Goodby, Berlin & Silverstein, San Francisco.
It's been a high-speed journey, but Mr. Bedbury is in no need of a coffee break just yet.