Your company should be unique and distinctive to succeed and so should your logo. Neuroscientists tell us that, even as we read, our minds create images evoked by the words. Images are vital to humans. The first known images drawn by people were of the animals they hunted. For thousands of years people created images of the animals that helped sustain their lives, and we still do so.
Cast your mind back to professional sports for an instant. Professional sports teams want to project qualities such as competence, power, speed, or bravery. Very often their names and logos reflect this: Lions, Bears, Tigers. You will probably never see the New York Skunks or Denver Possums. The names and logos are not always of animals, by any means. Think New England Patriots, New York Yankees, or Houston Texans. These teams choose images to evoke positive qualities.
This isn't just a sports thing, however. It is everywhere. Consider computers. Apple's famous design of the apple with the piece bitten from it represents the spread of knowledge by computer. Could there be a much better logo for a computer company? What general characteristics should a great logo have? The logos below exemplify those qualities. These examples are taken from The 100 Most Famous Logos of All Time.
The logo should be distinctive.
Think of the Nike name atop the swooping wing that denotes power and motivation. Or consider the NBC peacock, facing forward into the future.
It should be unique.
Unilever has the famous U with a myriad of other symbols contained within it, representing their many products.
It should be visually meaningful in a positive way.
The Twitter symbol of the flying bird immediately brings tweets and Twitter to mind. The bluebird also seems to denote ease and freedom of communication.
It should fit the company.
The Dove soap company logo speaks to their company mission of peace, joy, prosperity, and harmony. The Dove fits the ideas of cleanliness and purity we associate with soap.
When taken as a whole, it should help define the organization.
When you think of Golden Arches, you likely think McDonald's. Good branding has become so important in the business world, you might very well consider it as your first product, the one that sells the rest. Your logo is the concrete image that brings the abstract company to mind. The best image delivers a message that is distinctive, unique, meaningful, fitting, and often defining in some way. It represents you.