Which brands do business owners trust the most to provide the key products and services they need to operate and grow their businesses every day?

To find out, Alignable – an online networking site for small and local business owners – regularly surveys thousands of business owners to get their opinions on numerous brands that offer accounting, digital marketing, website, email marketing, payment, communications, CRM and other services.

In the latest edition of what Alignable calls its “SMB Trust Index”, Wordpress, Mailchimp and Google ranked among the most trusted brands by small business owners. Yelp, Groupon and Comcast, meanwhile, were three of the least trusted brands. 

The SMB Trust Index uses Net Promoter Scores (NPS), favorability rankings and other methods to show how well key brands are valued and trusted by small businesses.

Here are the 25 most trusted brands among business owners according to Alignable’s index, listed by service category.

Websites: Wordpress is the hands-down winner in this category. Business owners love this free, online, self-hosting tool for creating and maintaining websites and blogs. Three other brands offering website services that received high marks from business owners were 1&1, GoDaddy and Squarespace.

Email Marketing: Mailchimp earned the highest marks among business owners in this category. Mailchimp’s cloud-based email marketing service lets businesses design, send and measure effective campaigns. AWeber and Constant Contact – both of which offer email marketing services geared to small businesses – also received positive ratings.

Digital Marketing: Multiple brands earned high marks in this category, reflecting the ever-growing popularity of online (digital) and social media marketing among small businesses.

Google – the 800-pound gorilla in the room – touches every small business in one way or another, via its search engine, online advertising, email, productivity applications, file sharing and other services that are often free.

The other most-trusted digital marketing brands are Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Buffer and Pinterest.

Payment Systems: Authorize.net, Square, PayPal and American Express all get good ratings from business owners for their payment, credit and financial services.

Businesses use Authorize.net as an online payment gateway for processing payments such as credit and debit cards and e-checks. Square is a mobile payment provider that small businesses use to process transactions on-the-go as well as in-store. And PayPal, of course, is a well-known online payment company that allows users such as small businesses to send money as well as make and accept payments.

Accounting: Intuit Quickbooks, Wave and FreshBooks were the top brands named for web-based accounting services. Quickbooks has long been the leader in the field. Wave is a cloud-based suite of small business finance tools that include accounting, invoicing, payments and payroll. And FreshBooks is web-based invoicing software created specifically for small business.

Ecommerce: Shopify earned the top nod in this category. Small businesses use this service to create and maintain an ecommerce website.

CRM: Although customer relationship management (CRM) is a crowded category, the one brand that stands out here is Insightly. This online CRM service is built especially for small business.

Crowdfunding: Kickstarter has gained recognition among business owners for its crowdfunding platform that helps entrepreneurs fund their creativity.

Bringing up the Rear

But not all brands catering to small businesses have earned respect and admiration from business owners.

Those with negative NPS scores include the following (starting with the least-favorable scores):

  • Yelp (digital marketing)
  • Web.com (websites)
  • Comcast (communication services)
  • Groupon (loyalty-rewards)
  • OnDeck (lending)
  • GoFundMe (crowdfunding)
  • Wix (websites)
  • Foursquare (social marketing)
  • Verizon (communication services)
  • Weebly (websites)

The SMB Trust Index is comprised of over 9,000 ratings from business owners across North America. In order to be included in the index, a brand must receive at least 25 ratings. For a complete searchable (by brand name) and sortable (by category) list of brand rankings, visit Alignable.com/insights. You can also download the list in PDF.

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About the Author(s)

Daniel Kehrer

Daniel Kehrer, Founder & Managing Director of BizBest Media Corp., is a nationally-known, award-winning expert on small and local business, start-ups, content marketing, entrepreneurship and social media, with an MBA from UCLA/Anderson. 

Founder & Managing Director, BizBest
trusted brand