How Long Before Online Brand Suicide is A Thing of the Past?

I recently came across an interesting Ad Age article about “The Seven Stages of Committing a Social-Media Sin,” where Rupal Parekh discusses  in depth how social media can be used to a brands detriment.
The “seven stages” creates a cycle that shows “how consumers react to a brand,” which is generally the same – each cycle. However, Parekh claims that this “cycle is speeding up” and therein lies the change. Furthermore, “each time a brand experiences a social-media blunder, the event blows up and moves through the seven stages faster and faster before the whole thing vanishes in a puff of smoke.”

Parekh refers to examples such as Kenneth Cole’s tweets about political unrest in Egypt in order to talk about his new Spring line on Twitter.

However, nowadays Parekh claims that brands are now having an easier time returning to normalcy after these social media blunders because there are PR people who create parody social media accounts that help distract the public.

Read on to see how Ad Age used Kenneth Cole’s inappropriate tweet as a case study regarding the “life cycle” of social media:


Do you think that marketing and good PR can come to the rescue with what was once labeled as “brand suicide” – specifically by laughing and mocking the situation? If you read through the seven “social media sins,” you can see that Kenneth Cole’s PR team creates parody tweets regarding other political unrest/national & global issues/natural disasters. And, by the end of the day from KC’s original tweet, there was a spike in followers from 8,935 to 9,779. Parekh claims that this “cycle” of the seven stages will become shorter and shorter until…people don’t care anymore? What do you think? Perhaps this goes along with consumers being tougher and tougher to crack, and you have to prove that you’re worth their time.