Before this incident the Kenneth Cole brand should have had a respected and well developed brand personality. Their products are known for being higher-end type merchandise so I would expect that they would have a fairly loyal following of customers.
I don’t think that the response that Kenneth Cole made following his mistake could truly have been considered an apology. The company needs to rebuild its brand by being visible in areas of philanthropy as well as promoting these acts on social media beyond the occasional tweet and FB post.
In order to rectify the situation Kenneth Cole should direct an apology directly to the Egyptian people as well as twitter followers and the general public. I think a video public service announcement directly from Kenneth Cole that highlights any philanthropic endeavors the company undertakes would be helpful as well.
If Kenneth Cole continues to utilize social media they need to make their brand more people friendly. Perhaps he should have some one else involved with the company help him post as well as engaging in conversation with his audience. By increasing their visiblity via social media in a positive light and engaging with their audience they may be able to undo some of the damage that has been done.
The tone of the posts that are made to sites like twitter are equally as important as the actual content. For Cole to have stated that he was making an attempt at humor following his ridiculous tweet demonstrates that he is not in tune with who his audience may be and the appropriate way to interact with them. By utilizing various social media outlets to talk about things other than simply fashion Cole may be able to draw interest to his brand similar to the way Zappos has done. The extent to which Zappos utilizes twitters functionality should be a lesson in marketing to any brand whether big or small. A fun and engaging presence that is not necessarily about the company itself all of the time keeps subscribers and followers interested and engaged.
Here are some links to a couple of interesting blogs I read regarding how to’s on fixing a social media mess http://www.mackcollier.com/social-media-crisis-management/ and