In today's market selling quantity seems to be the rule of the day. Slap together something quick and don't worry about what flies out the door, it doesn't even matter who the purchasers are.
Companies who focus on branding will stand out amongst the crowd. Why? They have recognized that most buyers' especially online buyers need confidence in doing business with an established entity. Nothing shows your commitment to your business like a well developed branding strategy. Having a great logo is the first major step towards cultivating this development. Sure there are plenty of "out-of-the-box" logo solutions and the prices are more than appealing to a business that doesn't recognize the value of their corporate image.
Why should you spend more than $300 on a logo? Would you buy a car for $1000? Chances are if you do you'll be paying a lot more for maintenance and the headaches it will bring. You always get what you pay for. This can't be stressed enough. If you are willing to sabotage your business from the very beginning by neglecting the image you portray to your potential clients, that logo will be costing you a lot more than you're willing to invest. A professional Graphic Designer will invest a lot of time, researching to produce a logo that is truly unique (vital to branding and making your mark) and introduce you to a solid first step in Branding your company as a powerful entity. A logo is further enhanced by the elements built around it. With everything related to design, everything should be custom made, now more so than ever because the competition for capital is increasing. You have to be better than your competitors in as many ways possible.
For the young start-up company, budgets may disallow you the option of working with a professional designer. There are plenty of great designers out there that won't gouge your pocket book but be certain that they are capable of creating exactly what you want and that they have the experience to expand upon the logo design provided. You want someone who is business savvy and has demonstrated their applied knowledge. They must be able to foresee the bigger picture. The success of your business rests on this.
Putting it Together
Generally speaking the more experienced the designer the higher the rates charged. With the experience you will usually get a product that has been developed and refined over time. A veteran Graphic Designer will be designing with the big picture in mind taking your investment dollars further. The numbers quoted are relative to what they generate, a client will be happy to invest money when they see return. If the image developed for them attracts customers price becomes secondary. Recognize the value of your image and take your logo very seriously. As human beings we are visual.
For the long haul
Generally a business that has quality services to offer and takes their image seriously will understand the value of investing in professional design. Most successful businesses know how much they must devote to marketing in order to generate the sales they desire. Those marketing dollars will be more effective if your Branding approach was cultivated properly. If you take your business seriously chances are you'll attract the same. How do you want to be viewed?
A Bit about the Logo
For the most part focus was placed on the business mentality rather than the logo itself. There are different types of logos. Many large corporations utilize strictly text or abbreviations. Companies like DELL, IBM, RCA, ABB, etc. Text logos are very popular and are easily integrated across the Branding board. Iconic treatments are also utilized by many businesses. An icon can be very powerful in identifying a company. Take Apple or Nike for example. Using imagery is a very powerful strategy in branding. Symbols guide us in our lives and daily activities. Icons can be very simple and clean to more complex utilizing gradients and simulated 3D. Illustrative (beyond iconic) is less frequently used but can work effectively for companies that usually want to portray a timelessness or "natural" homey feeling typically found on a bottle of tomato sauce or organic potato chips.
Everything outlined above can dictate the price of your logo. The logo is a powerful aspect of your company. It should take time to create and will require much attention if it is to create a powerful Branding strategy. Be sure that the logo designer of choice is willing to provide you with mock ups and multiple revisions and is willing to help take your company to the next level.