Baby talk keeps business booming

A MULTI-LINGUAL company in Northamptonshire has boosted its overseas sales by creating a website in a staggering 24 different languages.

Bambino Mio, which produces cotton nappies at its headquarters in Staveley Way, Brixworth, has its website and promotional material accessible in the array of different languages, ranging from English and French to Latvian and Bulgarian.

And the idea has had a massive impact on the business, with more than half its sales now coming from overseas.

It has also been praised by trade and industry experts for the enterprising idea

Peter Hogarth, UK Trade and Investment's international trade director, said: "Companies like Bambino Mio demonstrate the tangible business benefits of embracing their customers' language and culture."

The company was set up in 1996, initially only trading in the UK.

In 2003, the company enrolled on the UK Trade and Investment Team's Passport to Export scheme and recruited two multilingual Swiss students to help establish itself in the overseas market.

More than half its sales now come from overseas.

In addition to the website, all the firm's literature, packaging and promotional videos are being produced in the local language of the target market.

The multi-lingual business has been achieved with the help of Dutch employee Jacob van Leeuwen, who has used his own language skills – he is fluent in German and English and also speaks French and Spanish – to develop the company's sales outside the UK.

The company has also been helped by the East Midlands Regional Language Network, which supports businesses trading internationally helping them to overcome language and cultural barriers.

Regional Language Network manager Sally Archer said: "English is no longer enough for companies wanting to sell internationally.

"Many British businesses have been slow to realise their European competitors are able to do business not only in English, but also in their own language, and often in one or two others."