n. The proliferation of choices available for a product or service.
I think there will be many choices in the future for the consumer," he said. "We call it the 'sneakerization' of the auto industry. … It used to be you had Ked's or Converse or Jack Percell's. Now you have so many choices of tennis shoes it's tough to make a decision.
Nonprescription sunglasses once were uniform commodities, too. Today, they have been "sneakerized." In 1993, fashion and premium sunglasses, highly varied, accounted for almost half of this $2 billion market. Bausch & Lomb's Revo line comes in 80 frame styles, for example, with a choice of four lens tints for each. Indeed, sneakerization is everywhere. Sony produces more than 100 varieties of Walkman devices. Seiko makes more than 3,000 watches. Philips has 800 models of color television.
Anyone who has visited a largish sport shoe retailer and stood, mouth agape, staring at some huge wall of shoes and shoe categories — basketball, running, cross-training, walking, biking, tennis, and on and on — knows intimately the true meaning of sneakerization. From stereos to cereals to cell phone rate plans, commodity choices have gone from limited to downright plethoric. The use of the sneaker as the exemplar for this process dates to the mid-90s: