Delivering satire?

Every so often Argos enters my life. Occasionally I enter Argos for the full-shop ritual, complete with betting-shop pens, Fisher Price keypads and strangely ‘benefit office’ queuing experience. But mostly it’s the vans. They flit across my cycle route just long enough for me to see the words on the side: Delivering value. And every time I smile, if only inwardly.

Who came up with that? Did they know how good it was? The vans are literally delivering value to people who either didn’t do the store ritual or couldn’t carry a three-piece suite home.

But the line is (or perhaps isn’t) also a send-up of one of the biggest buzzword evils in business language. Throw a brick at the average bit of business discourse and you’ll hit the word ‘delivery’. Outcomes, efficiencies and of course value are all being delivered, 24/7.

Throw 20 bricks and you’ll hit the even-bigger bullseye: ‘delivery vehicle’. A delivery vehicle can be many things (a project, an initiative), nearly none of which the reader will understand. But it’s almost never a good-old-fashioned metal box with an engine and four wheels. Which is why that line on the Argos vans is such a killer.

If only for that reason, my next big-ticket purchase may just be from there.

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