Hi! Fascinating concept. One item to add to the reading list (if it isn’t on your radar already):
Berg, L. D., & Vuolteenaho, J. (Eds.). (2009). Critical toponymies: The contested politics of place naming. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
There may also be something from Anholt on the early begins of place branding and origins stemming from family names.
In my research, looking at neighbourhood brands, one set of interviews (12 so far) all independently refer to the traffic circle as the key landmark of the neighbourhood and yet the actual traffic circle was removed 25+ years ago. So framing comes into play.
Another that comes to mind is David Harvey and the social capital that is attached when naming takes place, and in turn, the place is objectified or commodified for trade. And once something goes into circulation, it is under market control. I think is very salient to your initial idea.
I’m currently working on a paper around beer toponomy. So I find your draft proposal very interesting.
In return, coincidentally and so fortuitously, believe it or not, I actually I have a beer toponomy reference (with a picture) that I think you might like and find useful to cite as a good example in your paper.
BTW, Can you please give me your affiliation. Are you an academic? if so, Which University are you at? I would like to be in touch with you, since we share similar research interests. I looked up the author index, in the proceedings, but you were not there.
So, anyway, thanks for your valuable and generous comments and let’s be in touch with each other, if you are open to the idea of us being in touch with each other.