1. Field of the Invention
The invention relates to gift card packaging assemblies to present gift cards. More particularly, the invention relates to gift card packaging assemblies that provide features that render the gift card packaging assembly as a desirable item after use of the gift card package therewith.
2. Description of the Related Art
Gift card are a means for providing a gift to another without selecting a particular item. Gift cards are good for particular stores, store chains and/or groups of stores, i.e., a group of stores in a particular mall. Gift cards are desirable for several reasons. From the viewpoint of the purchaser, the gift card is a way of directing the recipient of the gift card to a particular store to select an item of his or her choosing, eliminating the need to actually pick out an item. For the recipient, the gift card is a wonderful means for selecting an item of his or her choice without having to make a return should one be required.
A retailer enjoys the benefits of a gift card for a few reasons. First, the gift card requires the purchaser to enter the store and select a gift card. The recipient of the gift card must also enter the store. This doubles the traffic in the store. Second, the retailer receives funds for the gift card in advance of having to relinquish inventory. This creates an advantage in cash flow management. And third, it is not unusual of the recipient of the gift card to lose the gift card or not use the gift card in its entirety. This results in a windfall to the retailer.
Therefore, it is the desire of the retailer to maximize the gift card program that it have incorporated into its business. In order to maximize the usage of the gift card program, gift cards need to be convenient and/or enticing to the purchaser. In many retail outlets, the displays of gift cards are positioned in close proximity to the cash registers allowing patrons of the retail establishment to conveniently select a gift card of his or her choice. In other instances, the gift cards are placed in a decorative envelope or cardboard carrier that allow the purchaser to write a personal message thereon. This concept combines the notion of giving a gift and a greeting card into one package.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
U.S. Pat. No. 6,971,524 issues to Voswinkel on Dec. 6, 2005 discloses another means to present a gift card. This means is a one-piece gift box. It is formed in a manner such that a gift card support is angled inside the one-piece gift box to have the gift card be presented in a box setting that is easily displayed once the recipient opens the box. This enhances the gift giving experience to allow the recipient to believe that they are receiving a more traditional gift. While the one-piece gift box presents the gift card in a three dimensional item, the gift box is little more than a cardboard envelope folded in a manner to present the gift card with some depth. The enhancement is in the giving experience is minimal. Therefore, there is a need for enhancing the experience of giving a gift card to a recipient to increase the usage of gift cards allowing those that give the gift cards to feel as though they are giving more than just a gift card.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
A gift card packaging assembly packages a gift card having a gift card thickness. The gift card packaging assembly includes a structure defining a structural periphery. The gift card packaging assembly also includes a pocket defining a pocket periphery wherein the pocket periphery differs from the structural periphery.
Advantages of the invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIGS. 1 through 5 are perspective views of various embodiments of the invention; and
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional side view of one embodiment of the invention with a gift card being inserted therein.
Referring to FIG. 1, one embodiment on a gift card packaging assembly is generally indicated at 10. The gift card packaging assembly 10 is used for packaging a gift card 12 (FIG. 6) which has a gift card thickness 14. The gift card 12 is contemplated to be a gift card of standard dimensions, suitable for insertion in a wallet or pocket.
Returning attention to FIG. 1, the gift card packaging assembly 10 includes a structure 16. The structure 16 defines a structural periphery 18. The structural periphery 18 extends around the structure 16 along an edge 20 defined by the structure 16. The edge 20 may have a width. Alternatively, the edge 20 may be little more than a seam, depending on the design of the structure 16. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the structural periphery 18 is a square due to the square shape of the structure 16. The structure 16 in FIG. 1 represents a gift package having a ribbon 22 decoratively secured to the top edge 20 of the structure 16.
The gift card packaging assembly 10 also includes a pocket, generally shown at 24. The pocket 24 defines a pocket periphery 26 that differs from the structural periphery 18 of the structure 16. In other words, the pocket 24 and the structure 16 are of different sizes. As is typical with pockets, the pocket 24 includes four pocket edges 28, 30, 32, 34 (only the first three edges 28, 30, 32 are visible in FIG. 1) with the first pocket edge 28 being an upper edge that is not secured to the structure 16. This allows items, namely the gift card 12, to be placed into the pocket 24 and secured thereto due to the sealed pocket edges 30, 32, 34 being secured to the structure 16.
More specifically, the structure 16 defines an outer surface 36 which may be referred to as the outer skin and the like. The pocket 24 is secured to the outer surface such that the pocket 24 is substantially flush against the outer surface 36. Therefore, a portion 36 of the structure 16 forms a portion of the pocket 24 and is used to retain the gift card 12 therein.
The pocket periphery 26 defines a pocket area 38. The structural periphery 18 defines a structural area 40. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the structural area 40 is one side of the structure 16 that represents one side of a gift box. The structural area 40 of the gift card packaging assembly 10 is always larger than the pocket area 38 of the pocket 24. The pocket area 38 is never equal to the structural area 40, nor is it larger than the structural area 40.
The structure 16 defines a structural thickness 42. The structural thickness 42 is greater than the gift card thickness 14 of the gift card 12. This provides substance to the gift card packaging assembly 10 greater than that of an envelope.
As may be seen in the various Figures, wherein like elements are offset in the various Figure for the various embodiments by sets of 100, the structural periphery 18 is shaped to represent an object. In FIG. 2, the object of the structure 116 is a heart. In FIG. 3, the structure 216 represents a portion of a tuxedo. The pocket 224 in this embodiment represents a breast pocket of a tuxedo. In FIG. 4, the structure 316 is in the shape of a book folded in half, wherein the pocket 324 is inside the book-shaped structure 316 when the structure 316 is folded in a closed position. In FIG. 5, the structure 416 is in the shape of a tape measure. It may be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the structure 16 may be virtually any shape as long as the structural thickness 42 of the structure is greater than the gift card thickness 14 of the gift card 12. In addition, the structural periphery 18 is often times irregular in shape. More specifically, the structural periphery 18 is not necessarily rectangular or square in shape.
The gift card packaging assembly 10 includes a hanger 44. The hanger 44 is principally used to allow a retailer to hang the gift card packaging assembly 10 on a display rack. The hanger 44 may be used after the purchase of the gift card packaging assembly 10 and the gift card 12 for other uses such as hanging the gift card packaging assembly 10 on a Christmas tree. It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the hanger 44 may be used in several different ways.
Referring to FIG. 6, the structure 16 is shown to include a plush 46 that is filled with a filler material 48. The plush 46 is sewn together at seams 50 securing the filler material 48 therein. By using the plush 46 and filler material 48, the gift card packaging assembly 10 may have a soft quality that would be desired by those that are receiving the gift card 12. The plush 46 may be replaced with vinyl or plastic materials as may be desired, depending on the aesthetic qualities the retailer is trying to achieve.
In the alternative embodiment of FIG. 6, the gift card packaging assembly 10 includes a secondary pocket 52. The secondary pocket 52 is selectively sealable using a zipper 54. The secondary pocket 52 may be used to augment the gift experience by having a small item associated with the gift card 12 inserted therein. The secondary pocket 52 may or may not extend into the structure 16. While the embodiment shown in FIG. 6 shows the secondary pocket 52 being sewn to the outside of the structure 16 along the outer surface 36 thereof, a secondary pocket 52 could include a pocket that is insertable into a slit within the outer surface 36 of the structure 16. This secondary or accessory pocket 52 may be used to combine the gift of the gift card 12 with another item.
In operation, the method of offering gift cards 12 to customers using a gift card packaging assembly 10 having a gift card pocket 24 include identifying the gift card 12 having a subject. The subject may be books, hardware items, clothing and the like. Once the subject is selected, the gift card packaging assembly 10 associated with the particular subject is selected. The gift card 12 is then inserted into the pocket 24 of the gift card packaging assembly 10. The method continues with selecting the gift card packaging assembly 10 wherein a design of the gift card packaging assembly is matched with the subject of the gift card 12. The matched gift card and gift card packaging assembly are then together presented at the point of sale location desired.
The invention has been described in an illustrative manner. It is to be understood that the terminology, which has been used, is intended to be in the nature of words of description rather than of limitation.
Many modifications and variations of the invention are possible in light of the above teachings. Therefore, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced other than as specifically described.