February 14, 2018

St Joseph, MO, is full of original and uncommon surprises and characters that make a nearby getaway easy and enticing.  Trailblazers sensed it 175 years ago.  You, too, can experience St Joseph’s contagious energy – original, authentic and uncommon in the BEST of ways.  This homegrown branding campaign is a story of positive community development fostering engaged neighborhoods, inspired arts and a vibrant economy.

Made with Uncommon Character simply summarizes St Joseph’s past, present, and future.  Since it was founded in 1843, residents have been makers, innovators, instigators, and producers, building a community and region unlike any other.  The city of more than 76,000 residents has an abundance of character; in its architecture, its people of all ages and in its amenities.  It is truly uncommon…from its pioneering and rebellious history to its entrepreneurial spirit of today.

The new website and homegrown branding campaign that prompted its creation is a story of positive community development that few cities in America can claim.  So what makes St. Joseph a city of Uncommon Character?

Here you can run, bike or walk one of the longest, most beautiful parkway systems in America. Stroll the picturesque Missouri River bluffs. Visit an artist’s gallery or get lost in the melodies of live musicians from jazz and rock to big band and bluegrass.

“Live music is a staple of St. Joseph’s history and continues to thrive today,” Kristi Bailey, Chair of St. Joseph Community Branding, LLC, said. “Musicians play public parks, event venues, bars, and restaurants non-stop. Recently St. Joseph had more bands at SXSW in Austin than Kansas City did.”

Dining options run the gamut, from hole-in-the-wall local mom and pop places (St. Joseph is the self-proclaimed Tenderloin Capital of the World); French, Cajun, Italian, Mediterranean and Chinese favorites; fine dining and well-known names you’d expect to see in towns of this size.

Patrick P. Evenson | Coverage Photography

When it comes to shopping, St. Joseph’s entrepreneurs and owners have you covered. Shop in the many quaint and quirky shops you can find all over our historic downtown, then head east to East Hills Shopping Center and the Shoppes at North Village for an excellent variety of retail shops.

St. Joseph also has hundreds of amazing stories of Uncommon Character and Characters. From our incredibly opulent architecture and those who built and maintain them, to our 13 unique museums (more per capita than Washington D.C.) and the passionate individuals who operate them. For 175 years, the people here have been the makers, the innovators, the instigators and the producers. They all have fascinating stories and with the Made With Uncommon Character campaign, we’re telling them.

For more information, visit UNCOMMONCHARACTER.COM, email uncommoncharacter@gmail.com and search for #UNCOMMONCHARACTER on Facebook and Instagram.

Community Branding: A grass-roots effort

Over two-dozen communications and creative professionals working in St. Joseph came together as a team to respond to the need for an accurate and uplifting community-centered message that can be used by all its local representatives, organizations and businesses. Their ongoing goal is to feature the best aspects of the area starting with its unique people, places, and events of positive character and innovative spirit.

A corps of seven communications leaders from the larger collaborative group formed St. Joseph Community Branding, LLC, a grassroots nonprofit organization, to implement the campaign’s ongoing strategy and raise funds from dozens of St. Joseph area investors to ensure the campaign’s sustainability.


“Our group members all have specific audiences – businesses, tourists, students and more. Now we have one consistent message for our visitors, residents and potential residents alike,” Kristi Bailey, current chair of St. Joseph Community Branding, LLC said. “St. Joseph has so many positive stories to tell and assets to entertain, educate and amaze people.”

Launched in August 2017, the new brand is receiving overwhelming accolades from local residents echoing the St. Joseph News-Press’ editorial headline “Uncommon Character Fits Us Fine.”


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