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July 30, 2010

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Imagine the possibilities of their colour swatches: 'evening vomit', 'nauseous splurge', 'primrose puke'...

My guess: It's somebody's last name, they grew up with it, they love seeing it on their company's products, and they are blind to its implication.

Okay, I just saw this within the last two days and thought "THERE'S one for the blog" - you beat me to it! And great minds think alike. I agree with Bob that it's most likely a surname. But still, imagine the possibilities: I like Sikkens. I recommend Sikkens. My friend used Sikkens. Not good!

You lot are very literal.

This is a quality paint that has been around in Europe since 1792 [ http://www.sikkens.co.uk/en/About/History/ ]. I've known it all my life so the connection with vomit has never even occurred to me.

One wouldn't want to re-brand and lose that name in a hurry -- history like that takes a long time to build.

@John Russell: Here in the U.S. we don't have the benefit of two centuries of brand familiarity; as far as I can tell, Sikkens was neither manufactured nor distributed in North America before the 1970s. The brand name had no positive associations here, only negative or unintentionally humorous ones.

Before entering a new market, a global company often does linguistic and cultural research to determine whether a name has undesirable associations. As a result, some global brands choose new names for new markets. Sikkens could have chosen to follow this path, but apparently the company (or its parent, the Swedish conglomerate AkzoNobel) decided that it wasn't worth the effort.

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