Catchword's Laurel Sutton quoted in WaPoThe Washington Post sought Catchword’s expert input in its recent story on National Landing, the new neighborhood for Amazon’s HQ2a (or is it 2b?) in Northern Virginia. Co-founder Laurel Sutton was happy to oblige.

“When they come up with a name like National Landing, it is not to serve the needs of the people who live there, it’s to serve the needs of the developer,” said Laurel Sutton, one of the founders of Catchword, a California naming and branding consultant.

When a new name is based on something percolating up from actual residents, it can work beautifully. Sutton cited the emergence of SoHo as a Manhattan neighborhood name decades ago. It was descriptive (the area is south of Houston Street) and evocative (it recalled the chic London district of the same name). It made people feel good about living there.

Will people feel good about living in National Landing?

“National Landing, what does that even mean?” asked Sutton, who was doubtful the name would stick. “It’s so bland it doesn’t tell you anything about the area. What? It’s an airport?”

Read the full story, with more of Laurel’s insights, here.

And if you’re looking to name, or rename, your neighborhood, Catchword’s naming guide can help.

“When they come up with a name like National Landing, it is not to serve the needs of the people who live there, it’s to serve the needs of the developer.”