How reimagining their brand helped this creative duo boost their business

By Francesca Margherita

Photo by Daniel Randall, featuring the hosts of 2 Black Girls, 1 Rose

By revamping their podcast’s visual presence and restructuring their offerings, these collaborators grew their membership and upleveled their brand’s image.

Sometimes taking a step back from your creative projects and evaluating your game plan can pay off. For Justine Kay and Natasha Scott, reassessing their approach led to a stronger, more fruitful business strategy. The pair launched their podcast “2 Black Girls, 1 Rose” in 2017 with a belief that “people of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, sizes, and even haircuts deserve representation” on the infamous — and notoriously homogenous — reality shows of “The Bachelor” franchise. With their penchant for both recapping and roasting the franchise’s various series, the best friends and co-hosts have been on Patreon since 2019 alongside their global community of listeners, and receive regular mentions in major media outlets.

When “The Bachelor” series finally had its first Black male lead in 2021, in its twenty-fifth season, new listeners flocked to “2 Black Girls, 1 Rose” for their relevant and engaging commentary. Justine and Natasha saw this spike in listenership as an opportunity to level up their brand and leapt on it.

To make their efforts more sustainable and to continue growing as creatives, the duo embarked on a multi-faceted plan designed to keep up the momentum and propel the “2 Black Girls, 1 Rose” community into its next chapter. Here’s what they did.

The challenge: Adapting to fluctuating growth

The explosion of interest in the podcast underscored a large appetite for what Justine and Natasha were producing — and the heights the podcast could reach. But the business wasn’t fully optimized for success: They had multiple membership levels ranging from $5 to $20, and some weren’t functioning as well as they wanted for their fans or themselves. Almost ¾ of their members were subscribed to their lowest level, and only a tiny handful were taking advantage of the highest level.

The friends knew it was time to really start thinking of “2 Black Girls, 1 Rose” as a business. But that potential mindset shift came with a caveat: “When you’re in the creative space and as independent as we are,” Justine says, “it’s really hard to zoom out.”

"We didn’t really know how to grow beyond this show. And we didn’t know how to place value on the different things we were offering as creators.” - Justine Kay

As the duo considered how they might stretch their creative muscles to go beyond “The Bachelor” with their content, and how they might keep building their business, they recognized another challenge: “We didn’t really know how to grow beyond this show,” Justine says. “And we didn’t know how to place value on the different things we were offering as creators.”

As the giant wave of news listeners crested and started leveling off — as giant waves tend to do — Natasha says that the “membership business kind of stagnated.” She and Justine were still using membership levels that they’d thought would work best when their listener community had been much smaller. Their brand visuals and photos were “homegrown” and hadn’t been updated in ages. They were ready to find and ride the next wave, and they needed to do it in a way that propelled their ambitions forward, while honoring the reasons fans were flocking to the podcast in the first place.

The solution: A multi-faceted brand rebuild

The pair began reconsidering numerous aspects of their membership and business overall “with more intention and guidance,” Natasha says. In pursuit of increasing brand value, scaling their efforts, and expanding their creative scope, they tapped into that guidance via Patreon-powered programs including accountability groups hosted by creators for creators called A. Club, Patreon’s Creator Ambassador Program, and Pull Up, an incubator and creative community built to connect and amplify the work of creators of color.

With a community’s worth of expertise and insight on their side, Justine and Natasha ultimately decided to undertake a full-on rebrand, transforming the visuals and photos they used in collateral and on their social accounts, and the membership levels and benefits they offered fans.

Reimaging their membership levels was a major piece of the update. “We looked at how to build in more intention, making sure the benefits made sense, that they were staggered appropriately,” Natasha says. “We wanted to create better value for our listeners.”

After surveying their fanbase, assessing the podcast’s social media analytics, and consulting with community experts, they had a plan. They scrapped levels that weren’t scalable (such as their mid-level benefits, which had included fun but high-maintenance on-air shout-outs for birthdays and other occasions), or that were seeing fewer signups or greater churn. They turned on annual memberships and crafted new levels to give listeners access to the engaging content and experiences that they could more sustainably deliver. They revamped these new content- and community-driven levels to include access to a private Discord server and a Facebook group, and they started sharing exclusive content with members of their middle and higher levels. For members at their highest levels, they began hosting a special monthly livestream hangout and Q&A, as a way to get together with their fans in real time.

Then, they embarked on a brand refresh. With the help of their long-time editor and a team of other Black creatives, Justine and Natasha took to reinvigorating their podcast’s visual presence. They did a two-day photoshoot, complete with five costume changes, professional photography, and great lighting. While the pair had never done a photoshoot like this before, being surrounded by supportive collaborators who understood their drive to disrupt a notoriously white space in pop culture created a sense of community and comfort. “We always wanted to look like Black women occupying space we ‘shouldn’t’ be in, or typically aren’t welcomed in,” they wrote in an email. “From the set to the wardrobe, that energy is seeping through in our new photos.” (The pair opted for a luxe high tea aesthetic in swaths of millennial pink.)

Going from their previous imagery (some illustrations and a simple photo shot by a friend in Natasha’s apartment) to professional, polished assets that embody the podcast’s vibe while nodding to something bigger was a win. Their team had a “raw authentic reaction of positivity” when they saw the new assets. And fans’ excitement about “the jump in quality,” as Natasha describes it, was palpable.

Before and after. 2 Black Girls, 1 Rose's Patreon page.

The outcome: More members, more conversions, more manageable

By reimagining both the brand’s look and what the membership experience delivers for fans, Justine and Natasha have found space to explore new content while making their business more successful and sustainable.

“Be open to doing things very differently. Even if it seems a little scary, it’s not a bad thing,” Natasha advises. “It’s okay to scrap things you’ve been doing for a chance of doing it better with more intention and strategy behind it… It’s probably a smart thing for your business!”

Fans got more out of their memberships. With reimagined membership benefits and a tighter focus on more exclusive and community-oriented content, “we saw a huge jump in movement to the upper tiers,” Natasha says. In the month after their brand rebuild and the return of “The Bachelor” to television, “2 Black Girls, 1 Rose: saw total membership earnings increase 33%. Since July 2022, more than 300 members have moved from their lower membership tiers to a higher level.

The podcast found its place among the stars. The reality TV podcast space is a busy one — and there are dozens of “Bachelor Nation” podcasts. While some are smaller scale, others have major sponsors and massive followings. The visual rebrand did more than just freshen things up and give them fun new content to post on social. Now, Justine and Natasha say, the podcast looks like it’s in the same league as shows with substantially larger budgets and big-name sponsors. (Though if you’ve listened to “2 Black Girls, 1 Rose,” you probably already know it deserves a place in the big leagues!)

The business got more manageable. Prior to the revamp, “we were providing a whole lot and working ourselves to the bone,” Justine says. The rebrand sparked new signups, significant member shifts to higher-priced levels, and increased revenue, and the strategic redesign of their levels ensured their offerings were high-value, efficient, and right-sized. This meant Justine and Natasha could unlock more opportunity and bandwidth. “While we create a lot of content,” they explain, “now it doesn’t feel like as much as a lift — even though we’re creating more.” They’ve gotten time back that’s enabled them to expand the show to discuss other reality TV shows they — and their community — “love to hate.”

“Even if it seems a little scary... It’s okay to scrap things you’ve been doing for a chance of doing it better with more intention and strategy behind it… It’s probably a smart thing for your business!” – Natasha Scott

The final rose? Dream big, and stay true.

While the pair refreshed many elements of the brand and business, the heart of their podcast stayed the same, even as their discussions expanded beyond “The Bachelor” franchise. “We didn’t pivot,” Justine says. “We started inviting people into [other parts of our] world and what we’re good at, slowly but surely.” Even with some significant changes to reward levels and the podcast’s visual identity, and the introduction of new reality television shows (like “Love Is Blind,” “Married at First Sight,” and “Too Hot to Handle”) to their content repertoire, nothing was a complete departure from the universe fans loved. It’s still the same Justine and Natasha, providing their trademark “colorful commentary” — now on the shoulders of a more well-rounded and strategically designed business, and with snazzy, professional assets, to boot.

Making creative and business changes all at once led to an authentic and organic leveling up for their podcast and its success as a business. Justine and Natasha offered their community a rose — and fans accepted it with enthusiasm.

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