Sabine van der Velden

After 30 years of building brands and organizations, in the Netherlands and internationally, I work interim, seconded or as an independent external consultant. I worked as a strategy director for international communication and media networks and for 13 years as a strategist at Diageo Brand BV. (Johnnie Walker, Scotch Whiskey portfolio, Tanqueray, Diageo Reserve Luxury brands, Whiskey innovation). As a consultant, we often work with partners who can provide what is needed in temporary formation to grow a brand or organization. I am driven, technical and precise and – fortunately – very pragmatic. I have a large network and I know how to find the right designers, journalists, filmmakers, artists, writers and campaign or brand builders who are needed to successfully complete an assignment as a flexible shell or project team. My motto in collaboration: it’s not about being theoretically right; but to ensure that everyone is eager to get started with advice, to implement together and know what it takes to continue to implement strategy consistently over the years. Whatever the challenge is (internal politics, different beliefs, organizational reasons, organizational culture, budgets) I have a tremendous “drive” to enable change at all levels. I am good at getting that done together with a core team. Ultimately, I help with workshops, training and in- and outsourcing so that the teams can further implement the new course themselves.

Why choose

Over 30 years of international marketing & brand management experience.
Experienced in working in complex environments and international organisations.
Vast network of specialists (creatives, marketing proffesionals, artists, journalists, designers, writers, filmmakers)
Strategic in approach, imaginative in development, pragmatist in execution.
Organised over 500 workshops worldwide.
Experienced in the design, rollout and implementation of strategic communications processes (ways of brand building, brand- and product portfolio management). Developed these for agency networks and global brand teams.

Others about


"Sabine is a top-league brand strategist, who knows what it takes to develop strategic positionerings that don’t only service marketing communications but truly guid business strategy. From boardroom to operations. Her work is aimed to help a company walk the talk."

- Farah Martinez
Director Business Development & Marketing, Kennedy Van der Laan

"Alsof je boks-les van Mohammad Ali krijgt. Sabine is extreem scherp en heeft het niveau van onze marketing in 3 maanden tijd 5 niveaus omhoog gepusht. Aanrader!"

- Tjeerd Schravendeel
CCO Puqpress


"Samenwerken met Sabine is van een intensiteit die het beste in je boven haalt. Fenomenaal scherp op de inhoud, met haar ga je altijd samen de diepte in. Het is niet van; ik doe strategie, jij creatie, nee: je zit echt met elkaar zo’n merk uit elkaar te pulken tot de kern bloot ligt. Ze heeft een enorme drive en energie, aanstekelijke passie voor het vak en een sterk gevoel voor wat creatief kwaliteit heeft en wat niet. Sabine is zo’n stratege die overal de luiken wijd open zet bij iedereen, aan klantzijde zowel als bij creatieven. Verschrikkelijk waardevol."

- Peter van der Wijk
Corporate copywriter


"Working with Sabine brought real authority on brand and identity to our positioning work. The result was a clear statement of who we are, around which we could build strongly focused communications materials. Sabine has remained on board as we move into the implementation phase, including a new visual identity for the organization. Sabine brings a wealth of experience to her work, along with a no nonsense, get things done attitude."

- Martin Lloyd
Mobilisation Director, Greenpeace Netherlands


"Sabine was very generous with her knowledge and time. She really made an effort to understand our business and has a truly collaborative dynamic. The knowledge she has from working in a range of industries was valuable in providing us with a broader POV that ultimately helped us define a communications plan that effectively supported our brand positioning and commercial goals. I’d definitely recommend Sabine for both her approach and the quality of her output."

- Dannika Coleman
Head of Creative Management, Marketing & Digital, Staples Europe

2003 - 2015

Diageo reviews

‘Great & active sparring partner’
‘Great sounding board’
‘Brings different views due to wider agency experience, and also her vast experience of working in global teams has been very helpful’
‘Strong ability to bring in the right people at right time’
‘Helps to navigate stakeholders, how to work with markets, pushes the team to ensure we are using latest thinking from New Generation Marketing principles’
‘Ensuring agencies are inspired’
‘Kept up momentum and interest in a very challenging project. Helped us as a team to move on, keeping interested and focused’
‘Asks questions that we might not have considered previously’
‘Willing to speak her own mind whether it be building on someone else’s comment or providing a different opinion’
‘Team player – big part of any team you are with, you work to make it happen for the team’
‘Positive, upbeat, solutions oriented, open to possibilities’
‘A very good listener. One of the few people I know who actually listens when someone is speaking’
‘Good at motivating people, good coach/counselor’
‘You build bridges & you have a very high response ethic; essential to create high performing teams across multiple markets & regions’
‘Great to work with. Supportive of everyone in the team. That includes feedback to stakeholders (like me) not getting it right, which is helpful; not everyone has the confidence to do so’

Collab partners