αúξάνω – of Greek origin
- to cause to grow, augment
- to increase, become greater
… your business
… your profits
Auxano was started to help companies large and small survive and thrive as they respond to today’s changing and challenging business environment. I have assembled a team of seasoned professionals and experts, many of whom have helped me over the years by providing solutions to problems I have experienced while growing a company from a small regional player to an industry leader.
On our team we have experts in both the Business to Business and Business to Consumer space in market positioning, market segmentation, market research, brand concepts, brand development, new product development, business development, product management, strategic alliances, strategic cost analysis, product forecasting and long-term strategic marketing planning.
In todays challenging market place you have to work smarter and stay on the cutting edge of new solutions and technology for both the operational and marketing areas of your business. Auxano provides expert guidance and solutions to help you achieve the vision for your company by imagining the possibilities of your future, aligning your strategies with your operational competencies and providing growth for the future.
George Atkinson is the co-founder and President of Auxano Group LLC. He is an expert in both the B2B and B2C space in market positioning, market segmentation, brand and program development, strategic marketing planning, strategic alliances, strategic cost analysis and product forecasting.
Prior to starting Auxano Group, George spent nearly 20 years as the Director of Marketing for the Berry Family of Nurseries (Zelenka Nursery), in Grand Haven, Michigan. During that time, the company grew from a small regional player to the largest wholesale (landscape plant) nursery in the country. He was responsible for developing the long-term strategic marketing plans, market research, brand development, brand concepts, new product development, business development, and product management which included analysis of trends, financial metrics and product forecasting.
In his role, he created and executed annual marketing plans that included all of the company’s corporate and brand marketing, advertising, social media and public relations efforts, as well as the development of sales materials, websites, trade shows and product catalogs used to support marketing efforts.
An active volunteer, George also currently serves as President of the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association, a non-profit organization that oversees both youth and adult amateur hockey in Michigan as an affiliate of USA Hockey. His leadership and vision for the association has helped its membership grow despite Michigan’s recent economic problems. He is responsible for spearheading the implementation of new programs to attract new members and enhance player development in over 100 Michigan affiliate associations. These programs, endorsed by NHL professional players and coaches, and USA Hockey provide strategic marketing support to local affiliates as well as training and support for young athlete development.
Noteworthy Accomplishments & Awards
George spearheaded the Archetype Discovery led by Dr. Coltaire Rapaille to discover the cultural code for why people buy plants in America. As a result of this research launched two brands to segment independent retailers from the chain market to meet customer and consumer needs. In 1995, George helped launch Flower Carpet® Rose, the first national branded plant program in the United States. And, over the following 15 years, George created strategic alliances and launched marketing programs and managed license agreements for national, branded product lines with growers across the country.
As part of acquisition team for Berry Family of Nurseries (formerly Zelenka Nursery), George developed and implemented transition plans that integrated operations and sales and marketing strategies of several new companies.
Working hand-in-hand with national sales, George created sales incentive programs used to drive sales of higher margin products and to launch new product introductions.
Seeing a growth opportunity, George pioneered in-store merchandising programs for the nursery industry that extended selling seasons, provided in-store support and secured shelf placement.
George has received the following awards for excellence in his field:
- A national Telly Award for a customer training video and retailer television spots for branded programs.
- Floraprint International Quality and Creativity Award for branded program development.
- Certificates of Excellence for Superior Achievement in Media Relations for public relations campaigns.