What does the Music Industry have to do with Archetypes?  Let me back up…

Thank you for all the emails you sent telling me which ARCHETYPE you are!  I LOL’d at a cheeky email I received from “Heidi,” who replied, 

“I’m a SINNER”

As in Steve Miller’s  “I’m a Joker, I’m a Smoker, I’m a midnight Toker… I’m a Lover and I’m a Sinner.”

Read the lyrics and listen to the music HERE. Or, perhaps you prefer a visual depiction:

Steve Miller's archetype Venn diagram

(image: The Poke: https://www.thepoke.co.uk/2011/12/02/steve-millers-joker-venn-diagram/

Staying with our general theme of ARCHETYPES,  PERSONALITY, and Steve Miller lyrics, this week we focus on something fun:  “ARCHETYPES & FEMALE POP STARS“!

Now do you get the connection?

The Podcast:

For this week’s podcast, I interviewed Professor Kristin Lieb.  Kristin worked for years in the music industry before coming to Harvard Business School, where she and I worked together as case writers! 

Professor Kristin J. Lieb - pop music industry expert

Professor Kristin J. Lieb
(Note the cool leather jacket!)

Over the years, Kristin has written professionally for Billboard and Rolling Stone. She also has an amazing TEDx Talk called, Pop culture is teaching the wrong “lessons” about gender & sexualityAND, she’s written two editions of her book, called, “Gender, Branding, and the Modern Music Industry: The Social Construction of Female Popular Music Stars.”

For this book, Kristin conducted interviews with pop music industry insiders and combined them with theoretical frameworks from sociology, mass communication, and marketing!

Gender, Branding & the Modern Music Industry by Kristin Lieb 20132013 edition

Gender, Branding & the Modern Music Industry by Kristin Lieb 2018
2018 edition

Why two editions in just 5 years?  Well, it’s POP music, right?  Of course the female pop stars changed.  But more importantly (we think!) the ARCHETYPES also changed.  You’ll learn all about this in THE PODCAST. 

What else will you learn?  

  • why Billie Eilish resonates
  • Kristin’s documented Lifecycle of Female Pop Stars
  • how it’s no accident that porn directors have directed young pop stars’ music videos
  • how female musicians who successfully migrate from indie-star to super-star status typically lose their music genre and become generic “pop stars” 
  • the important difference between “authenticity” and “full transparency
  • and more…

As you’ll hear throughout the episode, Kristin is an advocate for these women.

Kristin Lieb quote music industry pop stars identity

 This interview was great fun and I learned a lot.  Thank you, Kristin!


Click HERE to listen to the podcast now.



Here’s an interesting and useful framework that I learned from Kristin – THE CULTURAL DIAMOND.  She discusses it in her book and she told me she introduces it at the beginning of the university courses she teaches.

This helpful framework was developed by sociologist Wendy Griswold. THE CULTURAL DIAMOND illustrates how Cultural Objects both influence and are influenced by the Social World, their Creators, and Receivers:

The Cultural Diamond
Wendy Griswold’s Cultural Diamond, as presented in Kristin Lieb’s “Gender, Branding, and The Modern Music Industry: The Social Construction of Female Popular Music Stars” (Routledge, 2018).

Let’s take, for example, Billie Eilish.  She is the Cultural Object. The Social World is the time and place, so let’s say the year 2020 and most of the English-speaking world (and beyond – both online and offline). The Creators include the music industry, her producers, and her handlers – including possibly her brother, as you’ll hear from Kristin!  The Receivers are music industry consumers, her audience.

music industry - performance image by @natedefiesta
(image Unsplash @ natedefiesta)

Another example could be a professional athlete, say an ?NBA star like Kawhi Leonard or an ⚾️ MLB star like Mike Trout. They are the Cultural Objects. The Social World is the year 2020 and what’s going on in their home city of L.A., across the country, and beyond.  The Creators would be their agents, coaches, team owners and managers, the NBA, MLB and the American League, the networks,…  The Receivers are ticket-holders, TV viewers, and fans.

In each of these examples, the respective Cultural Objects, Social Worlds, Creators and Receivers influence and are influenced by each other.



I bet you’re wondering which female pop stars we talk about in the podcast  and their archetypes, right?  Well, here are the pop stars and archetypes that came up in our conversation:

music industry - female pop stars and their archetypes

Can you guess which archetype
fits for each pop star?

One last thought from the music industry…

Kristin said that she received a common comment from the music industry insiders that she interviewed for her book.  They told her they loved having the time to actually think about what they do.  

music industry experts to Kristin Lieb quote

Did you catch that?  Patterns of success.  It’s about patterns.  And ARCHETYPES are universal patterns. They are innate ways of thinking. We apply archetypes to people, to characters, and to stories without even thinking about it. 

That’s why archetypes resonate. That’s also why I hope you’re now better equipped to consciously consider how you can leverage archetypes in your business, in your brand-building, and even in how you manage your career.

Here are links to the 2 Archetypes ?podcasts:

Andrea Wojnicki Archetypes 
#54 – ARCHETYPES with Dr. Andrea Wojnicki

Kristin Lieb music industry expert
#55 – ARCHETYPES & FEMALE POP STARS with Professor Kristin Lieb

Or you can find your podcast player
(iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, etc)

Please let me know what you think

Have a great week and stay safe.

Talk soon,

Dr. Andrea Wojnicki - headshotDr. Andrea Wojnicki
Chief Talker & Communication Coach

Talk About Talk horizontal logo

P.S. – Please forward this email to your friends who are interested in improving their communication skills. I appreciate it.  Thank you!
P.P.S. – Have you taken the “5 Quick Email Hacks to take control of your Inbox” online course yet?  WHY NOT?
  • It’s free. 
  • It works.
  • You have nothing to lose – except stress! 
Do it!

Talk About Talk 5 Quick Email Hacks online course sign-up

Most Recent ?Podcast Episodes: