Some of the world’s most-successful companies have simple logos. That’s the conclusion from a study by a UK logo-design company, Small Business Logos.

It conducted the 2012 study — with timeless results — listing the top-10 logos in different sectors from technology to shoes.

“Creating a strong, memorable logo can really enhance the success of your business,” said Lucy Smith, marketing and eCommerce director for Small Business Logos. She was quoted in Computer Business Review (CBR) in “Your business logo will make or break you.”

In surveying business owners, the study covered sectors from technology to retailing.

It was designed to help UK businesspeople to realize the value in selecting a logo for branding success.

Certainly, the study is applicable in the U.S.

A simple logo as a favicon is important for use in a search engine presentation (for a brief explanation about favicons, see the eight best practices in small business marketing).

After all, for profits, size doesn’t matter but image and professionalism count.

“We’ve taken a close look at what made our top ten to help businesses make informed choices when it comes to their own branding,” CBR quoted Ms. Smith. “Simplicity and the ability to reproduce in a range of different sizes, media and on products, is key.”

Along with an explanation of each, here are the study’s top-10 logos:

  1. Apple: Clean, modern and extremely easy to reproduce
  2. BBC: Simple, memorable and works well on TV, online and in-print
  3. Nike: Suggestive of movement, ideal for a sports brand, and works well on the side of a trainer
  4. Amazon: Embodying the company’s philosophy: everything from A to Z, delivered with a smile
  5. Google: Strong primary colours, enhanced by ‘Google doodles’
  6. London Underground: The capital’s most instantly recognised logo, the shape recalling the tube’s tunnels
  7. UPS: Brown is symbolic of parcel paper, with the shield suggesting security
  8. American Express: Squares and block lettering indicate strength and trust
  9. Sky: A versatile logo that supports brand extension: SkyNews, SkyHD, SkyMovies, etc.
  10. HSBC: The only logo in the top 10 to use a very traditional serif font, more commonly associated with business and finance, suggesting authority

From the Coach’s Corner, related topics:

Checklist to Build Your Brand on a Budget — Branding is very important. It really helps to build your brand on a budget. Nebulous branding is a leading cause of business failure. Besides ill-defined branding, when a business fails there are several likely reasons. They include poor planning, insufficient passion, ineffective management, weak finances, undesirable location, and ineffective use of technology. A solid brand will help you land customers and insure customer loyalty.

Sales Success: Flawless ‘Brand Personality Appeal’ Is Vital – How you can gauge your brand’s personality appeal – if it’s suitable to yield sales. Here’s a checklist of 16 important factors.

Action Steps To Get Top Results From Your Marketing Plan — Why do seemingly great marketing plans fail to yield the desired results? Well, one reason: Such plans don’t turn the ideas into reality because they’re not action-oriented. What counts is the scheduled specific footwork, and then tracking the results. There’s a second reason, quality of execution. There are five action steps for success.

Critical Essentials to Develop the Best Marketing Formula — There are critical essentials for marketing, which includes the right channels and developing the right message. That includes the right branding slogan and logo. Unless your targeting upscale consumers, many consumers prefer value marketing — not cute, which doesn’t necessarily mean selling at a lower price than your competitors. Hyper-consumerism is history. Humor is great, but more importantly, traditional values with a purpose are in vogue. Why? Consumer attitudes are changing.

Rock in Your Marketing Messages with 5 Writing Tips — In this digital age of consumer overload, words are powerful – if they’re used strategically. The challenge is to help your prospective customers quickly understand your message. Of course, they hear and see thousands of messages everyday: Road signs; store signage; radio and TV commercials; conversations at work, home and with friends in-person or the telephone; social media; e-mails; as well as ads and articles in newspapers and on the Internet. Here’s how your messages can be seen and heard for results.


“What”s a brand? A singular idea or concept that you own inside the mind of the prospect.”

– Al Ries

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.