It’s immediately clear that Hardus is the more flamboyant part of this duo. Outgoing and gregarious, he comes from a marketing background and has the gift of the gab. He is at his happiest surrounded by people and enjoys social interaction. His counterpart, in contrast, is more reserved, a mother hen concerned about the people in her life. She’s also a detail person and perfectionist. “I’m more serious,” Odette smiles, “he’s all about fun.”
Their company, Iconic Management, offers a turnkey service to businesses, with a special emphasis on brand development. This includes everything, from little details like email signatures to developing a long-term marketing strategy focused on each client’s individual needs. Requirements differ, but the basics are unchangeable: “It’s all about how you present yourself,” says Hardus. “A bad website hampers a business and damages the brand.”
He continues about how the impact of social media has changed the face of marketing. Facebook, he says, has become the latest bandwagon, but one platform to consider. “There’s nothing wrong with marketing on Facebook, but mostly, it should be part of a greater strategy. A company still needs a website, and a good one at that – the one place that works for everyone is Google.”
But simply having a website doesn’t cut it either. “If it looks like everybody else’s, or is hastily compiled, it can be a waste of time. It is of critical importance to build it correctly, according to optimisation and specifications. It’s a constant job to get your site to rank.”
They spend time working with clients to develop the best long-term strategy for their business. Hardus is the strategist, who will do the research and come up with a plan. Odette, who studied graphic design at Pretoria Technikon and is passionate about her craft, does the design work. A consummate perfectionist, her obsessive attention to detail is legendary among those who have worked with her. She laughs about mellowing under the influence of her more laid-back other half, learning not to sweat the small stuff.
What gives them the edge, they believe, is the extensive network of connections built up over years in the business. They work in tandem with other Lowveld companies and individuals, including graphic designers, copywriters and photographers. Whether it’s a business card or a billboard, they have access to the right person for the job.
Working together while dealing with raising three young children is challenging. The couple met in their mid-30s and laugh about the quick work they made of creating a family.
Their girls, Lourize (5), Moya (4) and Kira (2) are a handful, and Odette gives credit to her mom, without whom she simply couldn’t do it. Being your own boss means working long hours, and they’ll often return to the office after putting the girls to bed at night, to slog it out until the early hours. They admit it’s a juggling act, but wouldn’t want it any other way. Although they laughingly admit to sometimes wanting to throttle each other, when they’re at work, it’s all business. “We don’t always agree, but we work together as a team regardless: Hardus the practical one, while I’m more creative.”
They’re “remarkably social”, Odette laughs, often out and about taking photographs at launches and special occasions, something they love doing – right up extrovert Hardus’ alley. “We also kuier quite a bit with friends. It’s important to make time for people who are important to you, who play, or once played, a role in your life.”
Get in touch
Contact Hardus and Odette on firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or visit iconicmanagement.co.za to find out more
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