"Making the world a better place," as parodied by HBO's popular TV series Silicon Valley, is not a brand purpose. Especially in today's virtual environment, companies realize that their brand needs to stand for something beyond just the transaction. Instead of a lofty, vague, and essentially meaningless sentiment, a brand purpose needs to be brand-authentic, relevant, and tangible.

Think Airbnb. Its mission is "creating a world where anyone can belong anywhere." Some of the speakers at this year's ANA Masters of Marketing Week offered excellent examples, as well. For instance, Vicks exclaims its simple brand purpose as "No sick days," while Olay describes its central purpose statement as "Fearless to face anything." These organizations have a brand purpose that makes sense for their business and paints a vision that matters to the people these brands want to attract.

Aligning Purpose with Strategic Vision