Brand-recognition is a strong objective for any company and a common way to assess the success of a logo. Although there are a lot more factors to brand-recognition than the logo quality, such as advertising budget, number of stores, etc… It helps to show the importance for a logo to be memorable which is mainly due to your logo having two qualities:
In order for your audience to remember your logo, even subconsciously, you need it to be distinctive and unique. If your logo looks like another, or worse, several others, you can’t expect it to have any emotional impact on your audience. This is one of the reasons why using stock logos, logo generator websites or logo contest websites can really backfire as you can’t expect something unique for that price.
To be remembered, a logo needs to be understood and convey a message efficiently. For that, your logo needs to be simple so your message can go through in the small fractions of seconds of attention that most of your audience will give it. Anything that takes longer than that to comprehend can be considered as interesting or feature in some logo awards list but will not deliver the customer impact you deserve unless it is backed by a very extensive (and expensive) communication.
Being simple is a great asset to be memorable as people will obviously remember a simple shape and colour better than a complex and detailed drawing. This is one of the reasons why most designers will consider that the logo is the most challenging design exercise. It has to convey a complex message in a unique way while staying as simple and clean as possible. A bit like trying to pack the power of a Ferrari in a toy car!
Big brands like Apple, Starbucks or Volkswagen have made their logos simpler along the years :