Urban Outfitters Demonstrates the Staying Power of a #PRFail

ICYMI: #UrbanOutfittersBeLike... any ideas?

Some brands have a superb PR strategy. They connect with consumers and clients on a myriad of levels: traditionally, digitally and socially. Those forms of outreach stick with those brands’ audiences in many ways too: emotionally, mentally, and even physically when they purchase a certain widget.

That is not the case for Urban Outfitters.

Somehow, this brand has the anti-Midas touch. After a while, with enough poor headlines and even worse social media chatter, a certain stigma or reputation tends to stick to a brand. Bad PR is like gum on the bottom of some pleather platform sneakers found on Urban Outfitters’ website.

Case in point: #UrbanOutfittersBeLike.

This is a hashtag that has been running on Twitter for a few days, and it’s still gaining attention from traditional reporters as recently as this afternoon. So what do they be like now? Oddly enough, it has nothing to do with the casual homeless look of haute couture they have offered in the past. This time, it’s about how expensive that hobo look turns out to be.

And the responses have been hilarious.

According to Philly.com (UO’s home base),

It all started innocently enough when one Twitter user posted nothing more than a photo of Urban’s “Maya’s Marble Ponytail Holder,” which sells for $8 per four-pack on Urban’s website. For some hair-ties.

Naturally, the poster was miffed because most bodegas and grocery stores sell a pack carrying twice as many for half as much money:

We get it; many stores are overly expensive. It could be argued that some trendy retailers even price gouge. Why aren’t they defamed? Because they don’t have a bad reputation. Urban Outfitters is the retailer speed bump du jour for that, which is why no one has dethroned them from the #PRFail mountain. It’s like they never thought to combine the word “reputation” with “management’ or “crisis” with “communications.”

For that reason, the mockery persists.

And now, on with the show… vroom vroom. 

Does UO care? Apparently not.

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