The story started with Chicago-based independent jewellery artist Stevie posting on Tumblr that Urban Outfitters had taken their designs (we’re not passing comment on whether her designs had been ‘taken’ by the way — the images speak for themselves). The story was picked up by blogger and web designer Amber Karnes who tweeted a link, which was then retweeted, and retweeted, and retweeted.
The retweeting led to Urban Outfitters becoming a worldwide trending topic, news outlets picked up the story and repeated it, the company’s Facebook page became the target for comments, and Urban Outfitters suffered a blow to their brand image.
Being web-savvy, Amber Kernes has dissected how the story spread online and written a blog post chronicling the chain of events. It’s a fascinating read for students of social media marketing and demonstrates how businesses need to respond quickly in the modern media environment to to prevent damage (honourable exception: Apple — who do things their own way.)