I was doing a little Christmas shopping this afternoon and stopped in at a gift shop in South Minneapolis to browse the fares. On the shelf was something so stupid, it was brilliant!
It was a bag of rounded river rocks in a range of sizes. The rocks were in a mesh bag that was tied shut with some environmentally friendly and organically wholesome twine, and attached to the twine was a non-glossy, new-agey cardboard strip that urged me to "Find Balance". On the label is a picture of the rocks stacked up in a little monument.
Brilliant!! This person went out to Lake Michigan, scored some free rocks, and is now bagging and selling them to the new age/wellness crowd for more money than I thought they could get away with, and it's because of the branding. They took the basic Pet Rock concept (sell something worthless by finding an angle) and one-upped it. They tapped the wellness movement, hit the baby boomers, fit in to the new age group and tapped the green movement all in one act of really ballsy branding and marketing. It worked on me - I bought a rock set today just to reward the blatant capitalism behind this product (probably not what the shop intended, but as the customer I reserve the right to my motivation).
When I lived in Connecticut, I would come across very impressive piles of precariously piled rocks out in the middle of the woods. This was clearly one of my neighbor's hobbies, but I never figured out who was doing it. I did an on-line search just now and came across a lot of information on stacking rocks. Apparently this is a big deal to some people, so we'll see if this transforms my life or if these end up in potted plants around the house by this time next year.
That's it. Keep your balance!