Most logos start as a seedling in the hands of a spouse or in-house staff. Eventually, the company hits a critical mass, and it quickly becomes apparent that the papyrus logo Barbara in accounting made doesn't represent the mission of the company. Often, small companies take the next step and hire a template shop that claims to offer a custom one-off logo designed to their specifications. They do this for a couple hundred dollars, which is a guarantee that no one with any experience is truly designing the logo with any industry insight behind it. Essentially, they let you choose from clip-art logos, slightly-changed existing comps that were rejected by other clients, or worst of all, logos that are already in use. Hardly the way to start and/or grow a company. Think about some of the iconic logos out there, like the ones for Nike, Pepsi, Apple, and Red Olive. A lot of experience, originality, and industry insight went into them, to the point that you don't need to see the name of the company to recognize the logo. (Okay, our logo hasn't quite reached iconic status, but we can dream, can't we?) That's the power of a great logo.
There are many reasons: