If ever there was a man who understood the business of delight, Willy Wonka was he. I could only wish that more of the American marketplace were so committed to being sensational in all that they do.
I recently took on an article assignment to write about Wonka products. Today, in the non-fictional world, Wonka products fall under the Nestle umbrella. But I wanted to know more about all Wonka products—not just the Nestle creations we can find in a candy shop.
Maybe Roald Dahl is the one who should get the credit for being delightful. He wrote Wonka and all of his products into existence in 1964 with his children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Before Dahl put his mental creations onto paper, the world had never heard of such things as ice cream that doesn’t melt, toffee that makes you grow hair, feathery melt-away sweets, color-changing caramels, candy balloons, egg candy that hatches into birds, whipplescrumptious fudgemallow delights, mint sugar grass, gum that turns into a meal, everlasting gobtoppers, eatable marshmallow pillows, lickable wallpaper, hot ice creams for cold days, exploding candy for enemies, fizzy lifting drinks, or television chocolate.
Each innovation was the product of pure imagination. Nestle does a good job of trying to keep up the imaginative, whimsical theme in their candy products and marketing. Aren’t we are all delighted by the sweetart and the pixy stik? But I imagine it’s difficult for a multi-million dollar, multi-national corporation to really reproduce the generous, awe-filled approach to life and business that we see in this one (fictional) man. I mean, I’m still looking for my golden ticket.
Fictional or not, Willy Wonka stands as a model; reminding us that imagination has no ceiling and that delightful sweetness is a very high calling indeed.
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