Nomenclature template

A nomenclature chart is made up of 4 sections. Content strategists may choose to change the titles of the 4 columns in order to better reflect the language that their team is comfortable with.

  1. Preferred term: This is the first column to be filled out. The team will likely have a list of key words or brand words. That list becomes the list of preferred terms, since each word is (most likely) the term the team is hoping their prospective customers will search for or use when describing them.
  2. Connotation: This is the definition of the preferred term, as understood by the team. It’s important to note that this is not necessarily the dictionary denotation of the word, but the way the team wants the term to be understood.
  3. Synonyms: These are the other terms that clients or customers might use. For example, the company might sell what they prefer to call “mobile devices,” but their clients call them “mobiles, phones, cell phones, ipads, and tablets.” All of the terms clients use are synonyms for their understanding of the word “mobile devices.”
  4. Associated terms: This last column is useful for identifying situations where the term might be used. It might also be called “Assets” or “Attributes.” For example, if the company has a preferred term “smart” to define how their devices work, and the synonyms are “intuitive, fast, connected” then the attribute would be “mobile devices.”

Here is a template that can be used to create a nomenclature chart. Ideally, the nomenclature chart should not include more than 10 terms.


Nomenclature Example

For a content strategist, a nomenclature chart, or vocabulary, is a specific set of terms that reflect the voice of the company.

In these examples of nomenclature charts, the content strategist has chosen a set of key words, and tested them with the organization’s target audience to see if they resonate. For each key word, the content strategist supplies a definition, as well as synonyms. What makes this different from a dictionary is that the synonyms are not necessarily direct equivalents, but instead words that the target audience or organization might use interchangeably with the key word.