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The Most and Least Trusted Brands Among Small-Business Owners Trust is vital to the success of any company -- big or small.

By Rose Leadem

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

From United Airlines to Uber, we've seen a number of scandals unfold this year that have changed our feelings about a brand. And whatever size the business, its reputation and customers are key to its success.

Related: Why Trust Is the New Marketing Currency

Taking into account data from more than 23,000 small-business owners, Alignable revealed in its Q1 2017 SMB Brand Trust Index Report the most and least trusted brands. In the report, small-business owners were asked how likely they were to recommend a major brand to another business owner. Unsurprisingly, many of the brands we've seen in the news such as Uber, Wells Fargo and United Airlines had poor reputations among business owners.

However, people are very trusting toward tech companies such as Amazon, Wordpress and Google -- in fact, these brands have stayed in the top three positions for most trusted brands for two straight quarters. And whatever Amazon's doing, it's doing it right: The ecommerce giant has held first place for three consecutive quarters. For the first time ever, Apple and FedEx made their way to the the top five slots this quarter.

Related: 7 Trust-Building Tips To Use In Your Business

Levels of trust vary from industry to industry. Overall, a majority of the "most trusted" brands fell under "Digital Marketing," such as Amazon, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter. Brands that fell under "Communications," including Comcast, Verizon and Grasshopper, were viewed as the "least trusted."

And even though there is an air of trust among many big names, there remains skepticism. Out of 86 brands involved in the report, 44 percent earned positive brand sentiment from small-business owners. That means more than half of these brands were not viewed as trustworthy.

Brands that are not considered trustworthy may want to rethink their strategies. When customers view brands negatively, other areas such as sales and consumer loyalty suffer. And even one small mishap can trigger this downward spiral.

Related: 6 Tools for Monitoring Your Online Reputation

"In a socially connected world, the importance of building and maintaining strong brand sentiment is of critical importance," said Alignable CEO and co-founder Eric Groves. "One need not look further than the recent experiences of United Airlines and Wells Fargo to see how fast changes in brand sentiment can spread across the globe."

Check out Alignable's infographic below find out which brands are the most trusted among small-business owners today.

Rose Leadem is a freelance writer for 

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