I wrote about this a few years ago, but I just found this illustration that really outlined what I was talking about. Branding is about expectations, not what your logo and color scheme is. I think that a lot of young companies fall into a trap of worrying too much about how their company looks rather than focusing on the value they’re bringing to their customers.
Admittedly, I’ve fallen victim to this mindset in the past. When your company is new and there isn’t much of a history to set expectations, you want your logo to exude what your brand is (or what you think it is). You end up agonizing over the choice of your logo too much and wasting a bunch of time. Believe it or not, it’s just a logo. You’re not Coca-Cola, you can change it. Here’s a few early logos of current blue-chip brands. Do their logos still look the same? Nope.
Your first objective when starting a business is to satisfy your customers and set expectations for future customers. By providing an amazing product or service and offering top notch customer service, you’re going to generate positive word of mouth. You can change a logo, but it’s much harder to change someone’s first impression of you. No one has ever been recommended a brand and decided not to use them because their logo was ugly.
Even later stage companies spend a lot of time on their “brand image” rather than their product. I think we’ve been trained to think about how important brand is and over time we’ve connected brand with visual aesthetics (like slapping your logo on something to “brand” it). I’m not saying there isn’t an importance of brand. I’m a brand enthusiast. I will always support brands like Apple, Bonobos, and Sperry Top-Sider over their competitors. But I’m a brand loyalist because of their high quality products and the experiences I’ve had when interacting with them.
My point being, focus on your customer and not on your logo. Your brand expectations (through previous customers’ experiences) will bring in more customers than your logo. Your brand (and logo) will evolve over time.