Branding – the concept of establishing a unique and recognizable identity – is among the most frequently discussed concepts during community bank strategic planning sessions. Paul Simoff, Principal, with Austin Associates, writes a timely article on “Merger Integration-An Opportunity to Create a New Brand” for the May/June issue of Western Banker, a publication of Western Independent Bankers. Simoff notes that the keys to branding success are linked to three concepts: excellence, consistency, and measurables. Creating a new, or modifying an existing brand, is a compelling initiative for management teams involved in a community bank merger. Branding done well can set a newly-created community bank apart from its competitors.