we’d very much like to use our name “kik” for an important package
From the very outset you presumed “kik” was yours to use, as if everyone on the internet has heard of Kik messenger and no one could have possibly thought of that name out of their own 3 letter imagination.
our users will be confused and/or unable to find our package.
Why have you also presumed your users are this stupid? If they are using NPM I’m pretty sure they will have the ability to use google to find the correct name for a package.
You say “we’d have no choice but to do all that” but you did have a choice, you could have chosen not to get NPM admins involved, or you know you could have chosen a different name.