Payment and commerce powerhouse PayPal continues to rise in brand value

Payment and commerce hub PayPal has emerged from its once humble origins to grow into a digital wallet powerhouse, earning itself a spot on Interbrand’s Best Global Brands ranking for the last seven consecutive years. This year, PayPal saw a 19% growth in brand value, moving up four spots to claim #38 in the ranking.

Leanne Sheraton, Chief Marketing Officer at PayPal, sat down with Daniel Binns, Chief Executive Officer at Interbrand North America, to discuss what leadership and customer-driven programs mean for the PayPal brand. Sheraton spoke to the diversification of the PayPal brand, its continuously-growing services for customers and its dedication to supporting social causes in a way PayPal is uniquely positioned for.

In a bid to help consumers save more and stretch their money, PayPal launched a rewards program to enrich the utility of the PayPal app and give consumers an easy way to shop, earn, track, save and redeem rewards and offers all in one place. PayPal additionally acquired online savings program Honey, which was recently rebranded to PayPal Honey, bringing the service into the brand’s fold. Sheraton emphasized that PayPal seeks to bring value to the consumer every day, growing its relevance from their initial introduction as an access point for safe online shopping and payments. “It’s about how all of those things come together for the consumer to add value,” Sheraton said.

PayPal has additionally entered the buy now, pay later space and has expanded its cash back and pay with rewards programs, building on the company goal of helping stretch consumer budgets and integrating flexible payment options. Sheraton emphasized that this has been done in an effort to help consumers get ahead in today’s economy.

PayPal has expanded beyond just payments and has moved into the commerce space, focusing on the whole lifecycle and shopping journey.

“We’ve moved beyond just payments and are working on expanding upstream to help our customers from the beginning of their shopping journey, with things like offers and rewards, through to post-purchase, with solutions like Happy Returns. We want to help customers throughout their entire shopping journey,” Sheraton said.

“At the core of commerce, it is how far that stretch is, to really create our app as a destination for customers,” Sheraton said.

PayPal has also invested in social issues, not only integrating these practices into the vision and culture of the brand, but into the brand’s products as well. PayPal’s giving platforms allow consumers to donate to causes they care about seamlessly. Sheraton noted that during challenging economic times, consumers are more generous than ever to help those in need, with $19.6 billion donated through the PayPal Giving Fund in 2021. PayPal also partnered with the Local Initiatives Support Corp, Uber and Walgreens to create the COVID Vaccine Access Fund, providing free rides to vaccine sites to promote vaccine accessibility.

“Empathy is the key word that is at the front and center of how we’re thinking about our brand and marketing in the year ahead,” Sheraton said.

PayPal also seeks for its support to go beyond the individual and expand into a source of support for small businesses. PayPal has awarded small businesses $10,000 grants through its Small Business Grant program that launched earlier this year, building the support system for small businesses who use its Venmo Business Profiles solution.

“It’s about being a trusted partner in all stages of their lifecycle as a small business,” Sheraton said.

Looking forward, the brand is seeking to deepen its current engagement with customers in a uniquely PayPal way, forging an emotional connection in addition to its existing reputation for trust.

“We built our brand on trust,” Sheraton said, “and we’ve been known for trust. PayPal’s brand DNA is about the championing of possibilities for our customers.”