Young Ones to Watch: Natalie Anderson Liu
Young Ones to Watch: Natalie Anderson Liu

Natalie Anderson Liu is head of marketing for one of the franchising world's brightest up-and-comers.

Natalie Anderson Liu, 33, holds the position of director of marketing for fast-growing better-burger brand MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes.

Starting out as a brand strategist serving advertising agencies in Dallas, Liu was eventually recruited to the burgeoning MOOYAH brand by a former colleague.

MOOYAH is currently kicking things into high gear with openings across the country, and Liu is essential to helping the growing brand realize its potential. Below she shares a bit of what she’s learned over the years, including the importance of utilizing others’ experience and the vital advantages of truly listening.

What have been the biggest challenges you've faced in your work with MOOYAH?
There is so much opportunity with marketing the MOOYAH brand. The biggest challenge has been determining the best way to tell our story and choosing the partners that will help us build awareness and drive traffic to the restaurants.

Our leadership is willing to take calculated risks with marketing, which is very exciting. It's a fun challenge to lead the development of ideas and plans that will get people talking about MOOYAH and move the needle for sales.

What has been the most important lesson you've learned?
Our industry moves very quickly. My inclination is to make decisions with 99 percent of the information I feel I need. But I have learned that if I wait until I have all the information, the opportunity will have passed. I've gotten comfortable having less information and leaning on the experience of our leadership team and our franchisees to make decisions while the opportunity is still relevant.

What is your primary goal for your career? What do you most want to accomplish?
My goal has always been to make a positive and measurable impact on the brands I touch. With that as my driving force, I have considered and accepted career opportunities I wouldn't have actively sought out if my goal was industry-specific or location-specific. It's a goal that grows as I grow. There is always a next level to step to and more powerful results to achieve.

What would your advice be to the next generation of young men and women hoping to make their mark on the business world?
Truly listen to others. Every business moves fast and there's an epidemic of interruption I encounter often. It's the inclination to get one's voice heard, whether it's a statement worth hearing or not. The MOOYAH COO repeats a mantra I think is wise: “Seek to understand before being understood.” Individuals in the next generation can make themselves stand out by listening with the goal of understanding.

In your own opinion, what is the formula young executives should follow in order to mature into established business leaders?
In my opinion, young executives should embrace the fact that they're not the smartest person in the room. Seeking out the wisdom of more experienced executives and incorporating those thoughts into planning will help prevent potential mistakes and make initiatives more successful. Being a listener who learns is a skill that doesn't come easily to most of us, but is one that pays dividends.