Full Ztar International, Hong Kong’s innovative influencer marketing startup
Five years ago, Full Ztar International was launched to create an innovative influencer marketing company focusing on providing comprehensive solution-based services across multiple consumer-facing industries.
Today, the Hong Kong-headquartered startup has evolved into a conglomerate combining influencer platforms, integrated marketing and educational courses. With 4000 key opinion leaders and influencers on its books already, at its current growth rate, the company expects to represent 8000 by 2025.
“What we experienced in 2023 has been extraordinary,” reflects Wai Lun Law, cofounder and now CEO. “Five years ago, I could not imagine FullZtar being what it is today – a conglomerate combining influencer platforms, integrated marketing and educational courses.”
Reflecting on his path from concept to successful startup, original founder Tom Lau, now Full Ztar’s COO, says he wanted to build a company that would be at the forefront of technology and creativity, offering a wide range of influencer solutions to its clients.
“The motivation behind becoming an entrepreneur was driven by a desire for autonomy, the opportunity to bring my ideas to life, and the passion for creating something meaningful and impactful in the marketing industry.
“Influencers are driving trends on the internet, so we are helping companies invest in influencer marketing to create a supply chain of key opinion leaders and influencers with unique characteristics.”
Lau says the team’s sights are now set on Full Ztar becoming the leading network marketing certification centre in Asia-Pacific, working together with the industries to establish new benchmarks for growth. Those industries include fashion & accessories, health & beauty, food & beverage, luxury, furniture & homewares, sports & adventure, gifts & toys, travel retail, shopping centres & malls, and department stores.
Right from the start, Lau recognised the need to build a talented team of entrepreneurs who shared the same vision for the business. He brought in two founding partners: alongside Law he brought in William Tse W L, as business partner and chief brand strategist.
“I made a choice of inviting business partners based on their character, attitude, experience and knowledge, in that order of priority,” explains Lau. “The most crucial aspect of running a business is mutual trust and open-mindedness between business partners. It forms a stable foundation for the company, ensuring its long-term growth.”
Law had significant experience in networking and event organisation dating back to university life, which brought him into contact with influencers and models in various social circles.
Tse, a certified trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming in Hong Kong, was working as a manager in the business development department of the e-commerce platform Zenecom360 when he was approached by Lau to join Full Ztar. Tse also had his own startup company, VieWell, which focused on social sciences and humility research and development. His entrepreneurial career was kickstarted 16 years ago when he secured a contract to design and supply gifts and premium products for Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, and well-known children’s clothing brand Petit Bateau, including swimwear and backpacks.
As a brand strategist, Tse is responsible for understanding the business model of a client and its goals within the current and subsequent year, facilitating communication and collaboration within the team, analysing the client’s market and sales history, and crafting tailor-made and timely solutions for them.
The growth of influencer marketing
The three entrepreneurs believe influencer marketing has enormous growth potential moving forward.
“Contagious content, attractive appeal and enthusiasm are crucial in the realm of influencer marketing,” explains Law. “There has also been a rising trend of micro-influencer marketing locally over the past five years, which has contributed to the growth of our business.”
Launched during a period of social disruption in Hong Kong – and just two years before the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic with its lockdowns and movement restrictions impacting shopping behaviour – the company had to ride out significant disruptions to the retail and marketing industries.
“The impact of those events almost brought all our promotional activities to a halt,” recalls Law. “To keep the company running, we constantly needed to expand and seek operational funding. Fortunately, our team did not lose focus. Instead, we gained a much deeper understanding of the essence of influencer marketing during that time.”
Leveraging the team’s experience in influencer marketing, the company began to assist professionals from various fields and senior members in the insurance industry to establish and enhance their presence on social platforms, creating their self-influence and influencer teams for its businesses.
“We are grateful for the trust and support from our clients and senior members. Not only did it allow us to overcome challenges, but it also elevated our services, allowing us to cover a broader range of industries.”
During the past year, Full Ztar has evolved from a KOL and influencer platform to a comprehensive integrated marketing service provider and educator. It was not an easy journey, the trio reflects, “but we are proud of the fact that we tackled difficulties together and overcame the challenges”.
“Although we are still in the early stages, there is no doubt about the profession and ongoing improvement in our capabilities.”