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EMAC 2023 Annual

Third-Place Engagement: Brand-image and Customer Patronage Behaviour in Café settings

Published: May 24, 2023


Sohel Ahmed, Teesside University; Ding Ting, Universiti Teknogi Petronas; Taimur Sharif, Newman University


This paper studies third-place engagement (leisure) as a second-order construct reflected by four first-order dimensions: interior design and décor, front-line service staff, sociability, hospitality, and investigates its mediating role in the nexus between brand-image and customer patronage behaviour. A systematic sample of 444 repeat customers at Starbucks in the Klang Valley, Malaysia were surveyed in this study. The results revealed that third-place engagement influences customer patronage directly, mediating the brand image – customer patronage nexus. The results emphasise café management’s focus on third-place engagement to reduce the gap between brand-image and customer patronage behavior. With the complexity of third-place and attachment, we believe the hierarchical order of a third-place should be defined. Such types of hierarchical model are regarded as descriptive, higher-order theoretical guidance on alternative contexts, and effects of third-place engagement.