Yes, my name is Romeo Armani
I was over the moon when I saw my name in the paper. There it was ‘Romeo Armani.’ So much had changed.
When I wrote my first story, I was hesitant to show it to anyone. The main reason was my name. I was hesitant to associate my real name with the story. Eight years passed and the story got buried under a pile of papers on my desk.
When I was leaving for England, I emptied my drawers and came across the same little story. For some reason I decided to put it in my suitcase and take it with me.
In England, I redesigned many of my dreams and reinvented myself in order to achieve my goals. After I completed my studies, I moved to London from Yorkshire. This move unlocked many doors for me.
I started to write again. I re-wrote the same little story I had written ages ago but I was still not sure whether to use my real name or not. I was as confused as before except this time I did not want to waste another eight years.
So, I decided to come up with a solution.
London was the beginning of a new era for me - a new place, new job and new friends - thus I decided to come-up with a new name. I started to work on it. I started with analysing my real name first. After putting a lot of thought in it, I rearranged the letters of my real name and came up with the word ‘Romeo.’ To fully differentiate this name I added ‘Armani’ as a surname. ‘Armani’ was an alteration of my modelling name ‘Arman.’
After that, I took the bold step of adopting the name ‘Romeo Armani’ full time. At that time, I had no idea that this little change was going to change my life.
No one has ever asked my full name twice; once I tell them, they always remember. Strangers remember my name and recognise me. Someone even asked for my autograph - silly but true. People were always curious to know more about my name. However, I must add that I never hid my origin and clearly mentioned that I was from Pakistan, which led to further interesting comments about the country as well.
One comment worth mentioning was:
“Your name just changed the image of your country in my mind.”
I sent my little story to the biggest newspaper in Pakistan; it was published within weeks. I was over the moon when I saw my name in the paper. There it was:
The story got published after 10 years, but the real surprise came later when the same newspaper published the feedback to my story, in which one reader admitted they actually cried after reading my story. I was stunned.
Could I really write something that moving?
Did someone actually cry after reading my story?
My name became an instant hit as far as I was concerned.
This is what I think. We all are brands and our names are our brand names.
As a student of Marketing, I strongly believe in the power of brand names backed by a satisfactory product. I believe that I have created the basis of a very distinct brand name. One of the basic elements of marketing is to differentiate your product in a crowded market and I just did that.
Brand names are the major enduring assets of every company. John Stewart, former CEO of Quaker Oats (USA) once said:
“If this business were split up, I would give you the land and bricks and mortar, and I would keep the brands and trademarks, and I would fare better then you.”
For example, last year when I came back to Pakistan, I called the office of the newspaper which had published my story. I was utterly surprised to find that the lady I was talking to for the very first time in my life, not only recognised and remembered my name, but also remembered the title of story which was published two years ago.
The chances of someone being recognised after two years by a person who receives hundreds of stories every month are remote. But it did happen, and it was because of the brand name I had created: ‘Romeo Armani.’