We are all familiar with the frequently quoted cliché: “the customer is king”. As is so often the case with clichés: companies have frequently treated this assertion as nothing more than the mellifluous warblings of the marketing department. But then along came digitisation. And with it, the networked customer is increasingly acquiring influence: each experience with a brand can be commented, assessed, and then spread like wildfire through social networks. Companies that neglect to take customers seriously, and that fail to entertain suitable, interactive relationships with them across all channels, will soon find themselves at the centre of a digital sandstorm. To act in a truly customer-centric manner, companies must be willing to ask some difficult questions of their business models – which quite frequently will require complete restructuring. After all, it takes more than just a wily marketing ploy to bestow truly royal treatment upon customers.