In the context of product development, a consumer is defined as the most generic and all-encompassing term for a firm's targets. The term is used in either the business-to-business or household context. It may refer to the firm's current customers, competitors' customers, or current non-purchasers with similar needs or demographic characteristics. The term does not differentiate between whether the person is a buyer or a user target. Only a fraction of consumers will become customers; this definition is essential when developing new products. It helps companies focus on their target market and create products that appeal to that market. Without this definition, companies would be at a loss as to whom they should be targeting with their products. Therefore, the definition of consumer in product development is crucial to the success of any product launch.