Creators of Heineken Experience combine forces

Sandenburg Concept Creation takes a majority interest in DST – the experience agency

Amsterdam, February 28, 2020 – Markus Konings, managing director and majority shareholder of strategic concept development agency Sandenburg Concept Creation, has taken a majority interest in DST – the experience agency. Shareholders and directors Renze de Vries and Marcel Goossens will remain actively involved. Konings will act as CEO of both agencies.

Markus Konings, ceo Sandenburg concept creation and DST – the experience agency: ‘This major step helps to realize my ambition to become the best concept development agency in Europe. We deliver customer experiences by supporting retailers and brands to create authentic and hybrid experiences, integrating the digital and physical worlds. Creating value for our clients.’

Renze de Vries and Marcel Goossens, directors & partners DST – the experience agency: ‘Over the next 10 years experience strategies will become even more important. We believe that by joining forces we will be able to act as a solid and inspired partner for board members in the business-to-business market. For brand marketers we offer a lot of knowledge, skills and vigor.’

The ‘love relationship’ between the two agencies started back in 2000 when The Heineken Company assigned DST to develop the Heineken Experience. Markus Konings of Sandenburg Concept Creation was acting operational lead. After the opening in 2001 the Heineken Experience – globally recognized as a truly engaging brand experience – was awarded the first prize ‘Best attraction in the Netherlands’.

Over the next 6 years Sandenburg was involved with the development and implementation of new features for Heineken Experience, attracting yearly 1,3 million visitors, making it the largest tourist destination of Amsterdam. Meanwhile DST established itself during the past 20 years as a leading agency in creating and realizing brand experiences for well-known Dutch brands and organizations.

Moving to Amsterdam
Acting from strength the owners of DST and Sandenburg decided in 2017 to rent an office space in a historic warehouse at De Ruijterkade in Amsterdam. This led immediately to a boom in new clients and intensified the collaboration. The most important joint projects are the development and realization in 2018 of the VodafoneZiggo Experience Centre inside the largest shopping mall of the Netherlands, and the opening in December 2019 of HIVE, the global Unilever Foods Innovation Centre on the campus of Wageningen University & Research.

At the end of 2019 the first meetings were held to explore the integration of both agencies. This led to the decision by Markus Konings and his steering team to take a majority stake in DST – the experience agency. Combined the two agencies stand for 50 years of experience and employ 25 staff members: concept developers, graphic, spatial and experience designers, project managers, concept strategists as well as content developers and program creators.

Markus Konings has taken advantage of the opportunity to fullfil a long cherished dream to build an ‘Experience Lab’ inside the office premises with a spectacular view of Amsterdam’s waterfront. On the 4th floor of the historic warehouse workshops, training sessions, tastings and masterclasses will be organized for brands and companies. This physical transformation is currently being realized.

Experience-projects DST
DST- the experience agency has realized a many large scale experiences. The most notable projects being the G4S Innovation Centre, Home Studio’s by BAM, Tata Steel Innovation Centre, the Design Thinking Center, a brand experience for Royal Auping, a high capacity experience for Henri Willig Cheese, for Dutch bicycle manufacturer Accell experience centre De Fietser, and the make-over of DNB’s visitor centre, commissioned by DNB, the central bank of the Netherlands. The latest project developed, designed and realized by DST is Gouda Cheese Experience. This spectacular tourist attraction will open in March 2020. The founders estimate 150.000 visitors will pay every year to walk through the history of Gouda, the world of cows and the world famous Gouda cheese.

About Sandenburg Concept Creation:
Sandenburg Concept Creation develops, designs and implements successful customer experiences forg retail and foodservice clients and mixed-use projects. Sandenburg works for entrepreneurial brands like Landmarkt, Eazie, Bagels & Beans and Tony’s Chocolonely. We also work for well-established brands like Albert Heijn, VodafoneZiggo, Unilever, Total, Athlon and Jacobs Douwe Egberts. Markus Konings (1970) founded 20 years ago the strategic concept development agency. Ten years ago the entrepreneur sold his coffee chain Mockamore to Vermaat Groep. He is co-owner of the webshop Holland Design & Gifts and is co-investor and developer of the ambitious project Amstel 1, a new mixed-use space that is being developed on the ground floor of the Amsterdam townhall.