SCDF to transform Village booth into ‘The Carnival Store’ for merchandising

~ Part of extensive marketing strategy ~

As part of its new marketing and branding strategy, the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation SCDF will transform one of its booths in Carnival Village into "The Carnival Store" and focus heavily on merchandising for Carnival 2013 and beyond. "It is something we’re always talking about, it was time that we finally did it," President of the SCDF Mike Granger said. The store will be located in Booth #6.


The Carnival Store will feature items that revelers and visitors could have as keep-sakes including, but not limited to, caps, shirts, water bottles, umbrellas bags and more. Granger explained that the SCDF has an elaborate marketing and branding strategy that it will start to implement this Carnival.

He said merchandising is just a part of this strategy, but one which should not be underestimated. "It helps with getting our brand and our festival out there. Morris Kushner once said that the difference between marketing and merchandising is evident. One is an extension of the other. When one markets an item it is being offered for sale; when one merchandises that product, it is spotlighted, promoted, and enhanced to realise the fruition of the initial goal of the marketing of that item," Granger said.

Granger said St. Maarten Carnival’s brand will be consistent across all products ensuring the logo is used correctly at all times. "Visitors will finally be able to take home a piece of St. Maarten’s Carnival. When they get home others will see it, they will discuss it, they might be convinced to come back. So it’s a conversion that’s not only important for Carnival but for St. Maarten in general," he said.

The Carnival Store will be open from the opening of Carnival Village on April 18, 2013 until the close of Carnival festivities on May 2. However, the items will be on sale during the SCDF’s road events and pre-Carnival activities in April as well as after carnival when person will still be able to order items with the SCDF.

"We look at merchandising Carnival as a product on a shore shelf surrounded by competing products. We believe we have the best carnival in the North Eastern Caribbean, but if we can’t get our brand out there, it’s like kissing a girl in the dark, you know what you’re doing, but she doesn’t. With the help of a carefully formulated merchandising strategy, which we have, we can highlight the unique value the Carnival brand to attain a true status of best in the region," Granger concluded.

The SCDF will be releasing other new initiatives as part of its branding and marketing strategy in the next few days.