Consumer-obsessed clothing and lifestyle brand Wildfang found that to be wildly successful, true personalization is essential — and machine based-learning is how to get there. Join our free VB Live event to learn how to leverage personalization power to gain fans with real LTV.

Register here for free.

“We were formed with a mission in mind, not simply to make money,” says Emma McIlroy, CEO of lifestyle brand Wildfang. “The company was built by three women who left Nike because they saw a huge opportunity to do two things: first, to serve up menswear-inspired fashion. Secondly, to provide a voice, a community, a home, a point of view for women who are a little bit tired of being told what they should be.”

They launched three years ago with a manifesto and an email signup box. Within 30 days, 22,000 users had signed up, with zero dollars spent on advertising.

“We knew we had hit the market at the right time and the right place,” McIlroy says. “Those girls were looking for something. And we were offering.”

So from the start, McIlroy says, they’ve always been consumer-obsessed, focused on creating an ownable, powerful voice and image for women to rally around, and experiences that make their customers feel special and unique.

“As a brand, which is what we are first and foremost, we make people feel a certain way,” she explains. We very much care about the experience we deliver.”

Personalization isn’t successful at all if someone feels targeted, she says. “It’s not just about targeting someone; it’s actually about improving their experience. And personalization should first and foremost do that. We should be able to get you the service that you need, based on what we know about you, and offer it up in a way that delights you and attracts you.”

This passionately personalized focus has won them A-list celebrity endorsements from Ellen Page, Kate Mara, and Evan Rachel Wood, as well as $2.2 million in funding when they launched three years ago. “We’ve more than doubled every year,” she adds.

The challenge — and the opportunity — is getting inside the mind of the consumer, McIlroy says. “Data is not insight; data is what leads you to insight. That means asking the question ‘why?’ again and again and again. You cannot ask the question ‘why?’ too many times.”

She admits that they come from a background of offline brand marketing, which has made translating a rich, customized store experience into its online equivalent one of their major challenges.

“What I mean by that is if you walk into our store,” she says, “very very quickly our store staff can determine your approximate age range, probably the kinds of garments that you’re interested in, probably the kinds of celebrities that you are inspired by.”

That’s something much harder to do online. They’ve embraced the challenge by turning to martech innovation — the tools and machine learning that make personalization scalable, and customer motivation actionable.

“Once you understand that consumer’s motivation,” McIlroy says, “the world of solutions is very broad, and there’s a lot more options there.”

Join this free, interactive event for more insights into how to turn data into granular customer understanding and create creative, truly personalized campaigns that work.

Don’t miss out!

Register here for free.

In this VB Live event, you’ll learn how to:

  • Increase web conversions and revenue with personalized website marketing
  • Use behavior-based audience segments to better target visitors.
  • Target customers who are most likely to buy or most likely to churn using data science and advanced machine learning algorithms.
  • Use cross-channel customer data to power more relevant website marketing campaigns


  • Emma McIllroy, CEO, Wildfang
  • Craig Schinn, Senior Director, Solutions Consulting, Lytics


  • Wendy Schuchart, Analyst, VentureBeat

This VB Live event is sponsored by Lytics.